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1992 TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 

Chairman: WILLIAM W. MILLAR, Executive Director, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pitts- 
burgh, Pennsylvania 

Vice Chairman: A. RAY CHAMBERLAIN, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Transporta- 
tion, Denver 

Executive Director: THOMAS B. DEEN, Transportation Research Board 

MIKE ACOTT, President, National Asphalt Pavement Association, Lanham, Maryland (ex officio) 

ROY A. ALLEN, Vice President, Research and Test Department, Association of American Railroads, 
Washington, D.C. (ex officio) 

MARION C. BLAKEY, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation (ex officio) 

GILBERT E. CARMICHAEL, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of 
Transportation (ex officio) 

BRIAN W. CLYMER, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transporta- 
tion (ex officio) 

FRANCIS B. FRANCOIS, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transporta- 
tion Officials, Washington, D.C. (ex officio) 

JACK R. GILSTRAP, Executive Vice President, American Public Transit Association, Washington, D.C. 
(ex officio) 

DOUGLAS B. HAM, Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. De- 
partment of Transportation (ex officio) 

THOMAS H. HANNA, President and CEO, Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United 
States, Inc., Detroit, Michigan (ex officio) 

THOMAS D. LARSON, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Trans- 
portation (ex officio) 

Capt. WARREN G. LEBACK, Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transpor- 
tation (ex officio) 

Gen. THOMAS C. RICHARDS, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of 
Transportation (ex officio) 

Lt. Gen. ARTHUR E. WILLIAMS, Chief of Engineers and Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
Washington, D.C. (ex officio) 

JAMES M. BEGGS, Chairman, SPACEHAB, Inc. (former Administrator of the National Aeronautics 

and Space Administration), Washington, D.C. 

KIRK BROWN, Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation, Springfield 
DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C. 
L. G. (GARY) BYRD, Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia 
L. STANLEY CRANE, former Chairman and CEO of Consolidated Rail Corporation, Gladwyne, 

Pennsylvania 

RICHARD K. DAVIDSON, Chairman and CEO, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Nebraska 
JAMES C. DELONG, Director of Aviation, Philadelphia International Airport, Pennsylvania 
JERRY L. DEPOY, Vice President, Properties and Facilities, USAir, Arlington, Virginia 
THOMAS J. HARRELSON, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh 
LESTER P. LAMM, President, Highway Users Federation, Washington, D.C. 
LILLIAN C. LIBURDI, Director, Port Department, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 

New York City 
ADOLF D. MAY, JR., Professor and Vice Chair, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of 

California, Berkeley 
WAYNE MURI, Chief Engineer, Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, Jefferson City 

(Past Chairman, 1990) 

CHARLES P. O'LEARY, JR., Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Concord 
NEIL PETERSON, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, Los Angeles 
DELLA M. ROY, Professor of Materials Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 
JOSEPH M. SUSSMAN, JR East Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 

Cambridge 

JOHN R. TABB, Director and CAO, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Jackson 
JAMES W. VAN LOBEN SELS, Director, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento 
C. MICHAEL WALTON, Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor and Chairman, Civil 

Engineering Department, University of Texas at Austin (Past Chairman, 1991) 
FRANKLIN E. WHITE, Commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany 
JULIAN WOLPERT, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Geography, Public Affairs and Urban Planning, 

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University 
ROB^ffly^J^UNG^JIj President, ABF Freight Systems, Inc., Fort Smith, Arkansas 

Carnegie Mellon University 
Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania 1521o 



Special Report 238 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO 
U.S. PORTS 



Committee for Study on Landside Access to Ports 



TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 
National Research Council 

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 1993 



ERIK STROMBERG, American Association of Port Authorities 
RICHARD L. WALKER, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of 

Transportation 
WILLIAM M. WOOD, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department 

of Transportation 

TRB Staff 

ROBERT E. SKINNER, Jr., Director, Studies and Information Services 

STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Study Director 

CHRISTINA CASGAR, Senior Program Officer 

NANCY A. ACKERMAN, Director, Reports and Editorial Services 

SUSAN E. G. BROWN, Assistant Editor 



Preface 



In October 1990, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 
acting through the Maritime Administration (MAR AD), sought assis- 
tance from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in identifying 
landside access problems and potential solutions for general cargo 
marine terminals in U.S. ports; the scope was subsequently expanded 
to include bulk terminals. To conduct the study TRB convened a 19- 
member committee; this committee was chosen according to National 
Research Council procedures, which require that membership include 
appropriate areas of expertise and a balance of points of view. 

STUDY SCOPE 

The study committee was charged with examining impediments to 
landside access and evaluating and recommending appropriate strate- 
gies to reduce those problems. As background information for the 
study, DOT provided case study reports on ports throughout the 
country gathered by a DOT interagency study group for this purpose 
and a survey on port landside access impediments circulated by the 
American Association of Port Authorities. DOT also sponsored a 
workshop that brought together officials from ports and other public 
agencies, private consultants, and members of the committee to dis- 
cuss landside access problems and means of resolving them. 



The committee was asked to determine whether access to the ports 
examined is hindered by lack of interagency and public-private coor- 
dination, physical impediments, land use restrictions, or federal, 
state, and local safety and environmental regulations. The committee 
was also asked to evaluate the severity of the problems identified and, 
as appropriate, to recommend remedial strategies. 

The case study reports and the survey data supplied to the commit- 
tee by the study sponsor provide a useful initial assessment of the 
scope of landside access problems. They represent the views of port 
officials and, to a lesser extent, users of the ports, but they are not a 
substitute for the detailed engineering and economic studies that 
would be required to analyze the specific problems and solutions at 
an individual port. Each port faces a different set of problems and can 
draw on a different set of resources in dealing with them. Although 
each port is unique, almost all ports share a common predicament: 
many different groups, agencies, and levels of government can affect 
landside access, but they have competing objectives. This report turns 
on two key conclusions. First, most local port communities and their 
local and state governments have a strong incentive to resolve the 
differences of the groups affecting landside access; in the past this 
self-interest has served the national interest by providing adequate 
capacity for the movement of interstate cargo. Second, the committee 
believes that the federal government's role in addressing landside ac- 
cess problems should be one of providing incentives to state and local 
governments to ensure that concerns about interstate and interna- 
tional commerce and national security are adequately considered 
when priorities are set for funding transportation facilities. The com- 
mittee's conclusions depend on the exercise of judgment rather than 
the analysis of empirical information. Its consensus on these matters 
emerged over the course of several meetings in which the problems 
faced by port officials were weighed alongside the concerns and prior- 
ities of neighborhood groups, environmentalists, and officials in 
other agencies, private firms, and levels of government. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

This report, a consensus view about the problems and opportunities 
of ports, is the product of the discussion and insights of the entire 
committee. Members of the committee also made many individual 

vi 



contributions, as did liaison representatives from different agencies of 
DOT, the American Association of State Highway and Transporta- 
tion Officials, the American Association of Port Authorities, Inland 
Rivers Ports and Terminals, Inc., and the Pacific Northwest Water- 
ways Association. 

The study was conducted under the overall supervision of Robert 
E. Skinner, Jr., Director of Studies and Information Services for the 
Transportation Research Board. Stephen R. Godwin served as study 
director and drafted the report under the supervision of the commit- 
tee. Christina Casgar, Senior Program Officer, helped conduct the 
study. Draft material prepared by Douglas L. Johnson and Eric W. 
Beshers, consultants to TRB, appear in various parts of the report. 
Thomas M. Corsi wrote Appendix B. Wendy Chalem and Jennifer 
Bartlett of Vickerman-Zachary-Miller prepared Figures 1,2, and 3. 
The final report was prepared for publication under the supervision 
of Nancy A. Ackerman, Director, TRB Reports and Editorial Ser- 
vices, and Susan E. G. Brown, Assistant Editor, served as the editor 
of the report. Frances E. Holland and Marguerite Schneider provided 
word processing support and assisted in meeting logistics. 



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Contents 



Executive Summary 1 

1 Introduction 19 

Information Sources, 20 

Outline of Report, 28 

Previous Reports of Study Committee, 28 

2 Background 30 

General Cargo Ports, 30 

Bulk Ports and Terminals, 35 

Growth Capacity Relative to Demand, 36 

3 Physical Access 47 

Impediments, 47 
Opportunities, 59 

4 Land Use 66 

Impediments, 66 
Opportunities, 77 

5 Regulatory Issues 86 

Constraints, 86 
Opportunities, 101 

6 Defense Deployment 109 

Background, 110 
Future Issues, 113 
Opportunities, 114 



7 Institutional Relationships 117 

Government Institutions, 118 
Private Institutions, 133 
Opportunities, 134 

8 Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 143 

Information Technology, 144 
Increased Terminal Efficiency, 149 
Terminal Designs, 154 
Opportunities, 155 

Appendixes 

A Results of Survey on Landside Access by American 

Association of Port Authorities 160 

B Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 176 

C Glossary 191 

Study Committee Biographical Information 193 



Executive Summary 



The American economy depends more and more on producers 
and consumers all over the world. Over the past 20 years 
imports and exports have increased so that they equal one-fifth 
of the U.S. gross national product. U.S. seaports handled $450 bil- 
lion in international cargo in 1990. These ports have become critical 
transfer points in the intermodal network that moves the nation's 
international cargo (Figures ES-1, ES-2, and ES-3). 

The efficiency of this intermodal connection could be threatened, 
however, by increased bottlenecks in the landside transportation sys- 
tem serving the ports. For some ports the weakest link in the logistics 
chain is at their back door, where congested roads or inadequate rail 
linkages to marine terminals, and sometimes both, cause delays and 
raise transportation costs. Half of the country's ports already face 
growing congestion on the access routes serving their terminals, and 
total port commerce is projected to triple over the next three decades. 
It is unlikely that existing access routes will be able to accommodate 
the amount of truck traffic generated by this increase in freight move- 
ments especially given the growing congestion caused by other com- 
mercial and passenger traffic without substantial increases in delay 
and cost. The growth in bottlenecks also raises concerns about the 
future ability of the ports to handle the massive movements of cargo 
required to support U.S. military forces deployed abroad. In the 



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> Interstate Highway System 

* Rail Lines Used for Intermodal Cargo 



FIGURE ES-1 Intermodal cargo network of United States. 



North American 
Cargo 

k (Cross-border traffic) 




North American 
Cargo 

(Cross-border traffic) 



^^ >$40binion ^P $20-40bllHon V $10-20 billion 
Source: American Association of Port Authorities 



I $5 -10 billion Q $2.5 -5 billion < $2.5 billion 



FIGURE ES-2 Oceanborne foreign trade by port region, 1990, in dollars. 



Executive Summary 



North American 
Cargo 

h (Cross-border traffic) 



Cargo Movements via 
the Intermodal Network 




North American 
Cargo 

(Cross-border traffic) 



^F > SO million V 20 - 50 million W 1 - 20 million 5 - 1 million Q < 5 million 
Source: American Association of Port Authorities 

FIGURE ES-3 Oceanborne foreign trade by port region, 1990, in long tons. 

aftermath of the war in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military plans to 
rely even more heavily on public ports and private carriers for future 
deployments of troops and material. 



EXAMPLES OF LANDSIDE ACCESS PROBLEMS 

A 1991 survey of port officials by the American Association of Port 
Authorities (AAPA) provides a useful assessment of the ways in 
which port officials view their landside access problems. The survey 
was sent to the 85 public member ports of AAPA, 54 of which 
returned completed questionnaires. The overall response rate was 
65 percent. The respondents account for 65 percent of the total 
tonnage and 87 percent of the value of all exports and imports 
handled by U.S. ports in 1990. The survey identifies infrastructure, 
land use, environmental, and institutional impediments that reduce 
the efficiency of freight movements on land access routes or limit 
the options available to correct these impediments. The results of 
the survey are summarized here; they are discussed more fully in the 
report and in Appendix A. 



4 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 




Half of all ports, and nearly two-thirds of container ports, face growing 
traffic congestion of the major truck routes that serve their terminals. 



Infrastructure Impediments 

Among the infrastructure inadequacies faced by port officials, two 
problems stand out. The survey results indicate that half of all ports, 
and nearly two-thirds of container ports, face growing traffic conges- 
tion on the major truck routes that serve their terminals (Table ES-1). 
Such congestion increases transport costs and vehicular emissions 
that degrade air quality. Almost half of the ports report that the rail 
lines serving their terminals have many at-grade crossings of local 
streets (Table ES-1). As a result, long, highly efficient trains that serve 
the ports can tie up traffic on local streets. 

Besides these infrastructure problems, about one-third of container 
ports responding to the survey do not have bridge or tunnel clear- 
ances sufficient to accommodate the most productive double-stack 
trains (Table ES-1). 



Executive Summary 



TABLE ES-1 Examples of Landside Access Impediments Identified in 
AAPA Survey 



Container Ports 
(ft = 25) 


All Ports 

(n = 54) 


Impediment 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


Truck routes usually or always 










congested 


16 


64 


27 


50 


Numerous at-grade rail-highway 










crossings 


14 


56 


25 


46 


Inadequate clearances for high-cube 










double stacks 


9 


36 


12 


22 


Competition increasing for available 










land 


21 


84 


40 


74 


Restricted access improvements due to 










lack of land 


11 


44 


17 


31 


Regulations in place or proposed 










restrict truck or rail operations 


4 


16 


5 


11 


Development of access improvements 










impeded by wetland regulations 










Usually or always 


6 


24 


11 


20 


Sometimes 


8 


32 


16 


30 


State DOT coordination with port 










Usually or always 


10 


40. 


22 


41 


Sometimes 


9 


36 


13 


24 


Rarely or never 


5 


24 


10 


20 



The ability to correct these problems, however, is often beyond the 
reach of port officials. As described in the next few sections, physical, 
land use, environmental, and institutional impediments make diffi- 
cult the resolution of these problems. In addition, the authority for 
making improvements often resides with local, state, and federal 
transportation agencies rather than with the ports themselves. Such 
projects must compete with many other demands for funds, and they 
are not always rated as high as other local priorities. 



Land Use Impediments 

Some container ports may be able to reduce the truck traffic they 
generate on local streets by reconfiguring their terminal designs to 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 




Rail service on or adjacent to marine terminals reduces truck traffic on urban 
streets but consumes scarce urban waterfront land (photograph courtesy Port 
ofTacoma). 



provide for rail service that is on or adjacent to the marine terminal; 
this would reduce the need for trucks to move containers from marine 
to rail terminals by way of urban streets. This option, however, is 
suitable for containers to be moved more than 500 mi from the port, 
instead of for those destined for the local market. When terminals 
need to be reconfigured to provide this efficiency gain, waterfront 
land is required. Most ports are in major metropolitan areas, where 
commercial development of urban waterfronts is increasing the com- 
petition for available land. Commercial development of waterfront 
land can earn far more revenue for local governments than can most 
maritime uses. It is not surprising that three-fourths of the port offi- 
cials surveyed report that competition is increasing for available wa- 



Executive Summary 



terfront land. Port officials also report that lack of land has already 
restricted access improvements at one-third of ports (Table ES-1). 

Many ports encounter resistance to their efforts to improve termi- 
nal operations from residents of adjacent residential areas and from 
homeowners along the major landside corridors serving the ports. A 
few ports (11 percent) report that proposed or existing regulations 
are designed to restrict the hours of operation on rail or truck corri- 
dors serving their terminals (Table ES-1). Similar proposals are being 
considered by many other port cities. Some ports have avoided mak- 
ing landside improvements that would result in greater traffic because 
of neighborhood opposition. 



Environmental Impediments 

Environmental regulations, particularly those applying to wetlands, 
also restrict the ability of seaports to reconfigure their terminals and 
improve their landside access routes. One-fifth of port officials re- 
sponding to the survey report that wetlands regulations usually or 
always impede development of access improvements, and one-third 
report that they sometimes impede development (Table ES-1). In the 
past the ports could use dredged materials to fill waterfront land and 
provide more space for terminal development, but this option has 
been greatly reduced by federal and state policies to protect wetlands 
from further development. 

Although the aforementioned restrictions on access corridor hours 
of operation probably resulted from neighborhood opposition to 
noise and traffic in the past, concerns about air quality are more 
likely to produce such restrictions in the future. For example, pro- 
posals are being advanced to reduce truck hours of operation during 
peak periods in Los Angeles, home of one the largest container ports 
in the country. Many ports could face similar restrictions in the future 
as their metropolitan areas attempt to meet federal and state air- 
quality standards. 



Institutional Impediments 

Addressing landside access problems is made more complex by the 
unique institutional status of most ports. Ports tend to be organized 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



as governmental enterprises somewhat removed from traditional gov- 
ernmental agencies. Local and state transportation agencies are the 
most important governmental authorities with which ports must 
work to resolve their landside access problems, and the coordination 
between ports and these agencies is not as good as it could be. 
Whereas 41 percent of ports report that their state transportation 
agencies usually coordinate activities such as road construction with 
them, 24 percent report that their states only sometimes coordinate 
with them, and 20 percent report that their states rarely or never do 
so (Table ES-1). Revisions to federal surface transportation programs 
contained in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act 
(ISTEA) of 1991 have placed even more authority in the hands of 
state and local officials, which heightens the need to improve coor- 
dination to ensure that national needs such as interstate and interna- 
tional commerce are given full consideration when local authorities 
allocate available transportation funds. 



Local Versus National Interest 

Most port officials report problems with growing traffic congestion, 
traffic conflicts between automobiles and trucks and trains serving 
the ports, or increased competition for land, but the severity of these 
problems varies from port to port. The individual ports are suffi- 
ciently different that no single problem can be said to have the same 
priority everywhere one port may be more constrained by neighbor- 
hood opposition, another by environmental restrictions, and another 
by geography. In addition, the opportunities to respond to the indi- 
vidual problems vary with the leadership abilities of individual port 
directors, their relations with local and state transportation and envi- 
ronmental agencies, state and local laws and regulations, and the 
ever-shifting demands of shippers and carriers as they seek greater 
efficiency in serving their customers. 

The major national policy issue raised by the landside access im- 
pediments described earlier is the extent to which local governments 
decide whether to invest in local transportation projects that some- 
times are of national significance because they serve interstate and 
international commerce or national security. Local governments are 
being asked to bear many of the costs of resolving access problems for 
their ports when many of the beneficiaries of these improvements are 



Executive Summary 



consumers and producers dispersed throughout the nation. This 
raises the concern that pressures placed on local authorities by com- 
mercial urban land developers, neighborhoods, and local environ- 
mental groups will result in future investment decisions in which 
national priorities are not considered or given enough weight. 

The study committee believes that there are many opportunities to 
better ensure that local and national needs are balanced in the efforts 
to address seaport landside access problems. These opportunities are, 
for the most part, designed to improve communication among the 
various units of government involved in the landside access needs and 
problems of seaports. Lack of communication among the various 
public and private agencies involved in landside access is a major 
problem. As with many other complex policy issues, no single agency 
has complete authority, and different agencies pursue different, some- 
times competing, objectives. Even among transportation agencies, 
officials at different levels of government often have different priori- 
ties. These differences are magnified when the goals and objectives of 
environmental agencies and environmentalists and the interests of 
private carriers and neighborhood groups are included. 

Implicit in the choice of the opportunities listed in the following is 
the recognition that most ports and their surrounding communities 
are engaged in intense competition for cargo. This competition has 
served the national interest by fostering innovation and cost control 
by ports. In addition, in the competition for freight, most ports and 
their state and local governments have long been willing to invest 
state and local funds. Although this competition can lead and has led 
to excess investment when individual communities invest in port fa- 
cilities on a speculative basis, it has also stimulated local governments 
to provide for the transportation needs of ports. As a result, the 
committee believes that more direct federal intervention in local and 
state decision-making to solve local access problems is not warranted 
at this stage. A more aggressive federal response is not appropriate in 
part because of the complexities of the competing interests, and be- 
cause the decentralized, competitive transportation system has pro- 
vided adequate capacity for the movement of interstate and 
international cargo. 

The growing influence of local groups opposed to port develop- 
ment, however, gives reason for concern that future investment in 
port access routes will become more difficult to obtain. Local officials 
are faced with difficult choices. They must consider legitimate neigh- 



10 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



borhood demands that residents' lives not be disrupted by traffic 
noise and congestion. They must adhere to multiple federal and state 
mandates to protect the environment. They must answer to pressure 
from their own constituents to develop urban waterfronts to beautify 
their cities and increase local tax revenues. And they must consider 
their own economic interest in preserving and investing in maritime 
industries. These goals often conflict and require trade-offs. Some 
local governments may well decide that their maritime industries are 
a lesser priority, but so far most state and local jurisdictions have 
shown a willingness to invest heavily in their ports. 

Given the competing interests involved in this issue and the benefits 
of competition among port communities, the committee concludes 
that the most appropriate public policy responses are to (a) provide 
incentives to state and local governments to ensure that port access 
needs are fairly and thoroughly considered alongside other competing 
demands, (b) encourage better long-range planning at the regional or 
metropolitan level, and (c) allow for a variety of options for ports to 
pursue that are suited to the unique situations in each port region. 
Specific examples of these options are identified in the following 
sections: the first summarizes opportunities created by the ISTEA, 
and the second summarizes additional opportunities for public 
officials. 



RECOMMENDATIONS IN ISTEA TO RESOLVE 
ACCESS PROBLEMS 

The 6-year reauthorization of the federal surface transportation pro- 
grams in the ISTEA includes a variety of new opportunities for re- 
sponding to port landside access problems. The specific provisions of 
the ISTEA as they apply to each level of government are mentioned 
briefly in the following section and discussed in the report itself in 
greater detail. Although the ISTEA creates new opportunities at all 
levels of government, actions to be made at the state and local levels 
are the most pressing. 

States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations 

For metropolitan areas of 200,000 or more persons, the ISTEA re- 
quires metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to develop capi- 



Executive Summary 1 1 



tal plans and select projects with the assistance of their states. For 
metropolitan areas with fewer than 200,000 persons, the states are to 
develop capital plans with the assistance of their MPOs. Among the 
factors to be considered in the development of these capital plans are 
access to ports, intermodal transportation facilities, preservation of 
rights-of-way for future transportation projects, and methods to en- 
hance the efficient movement of freight. States are also given new 
planning mandates to develop management systems in six areas, 
which include traffic congestion and intermodal transportation facili- 
ties and systems. These new requirements create new opportunities 
for addressing port access problems. 

State and local governments as well as port officials can take sev- 
eral steps to facilitate landside access to maritime industries. As re- 
quired by the ISTEA, freight transportation needs should be given 
more detailed consideration when routes are designated as eligible for 
federal and state assistance and in assigning priorities for funding. 
This recommendation should be applied immediately in the identi- 
fication of routes eligible for the National Highway System, which is 
to include the Interstates and other major primary highways. This 
system, which is to be funded at the highest level, is to be defined by 
the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with the assistance of 
the states and MPOs and presented to Congress by December 1993. 
States and MPOs should also include freight transportation facilities 
in the development of their intermodal transportation facility plans 
(Chapter 7). 

States and MPOs are also required by the ISTEA to develop con- 
gestion management plans that are to be used to guide future invest- 
ment decisions. Local and state governments could use congestion 
management techniques and require greater private investment to 
make sure that development on access routes serving port terminals 
does not result in undue congestion. The committee recommends that 
congestion management techniques to maintain efficient freight 
movements on port access routes be incorporated into congestion 
management plans (Chapter 4). 

As commercial and residential development encroach on port com- 
plexes, more attention will be required to preserving rights-of-way 
around current transportation corridors that serve the ports. The 
purchase of such land is a permitted expense under the ISTEA. Aban- 
doned rail corridors, waterfront land around marine terminals, and 
potential sites for inland terminals and the corridors could also be 



12 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



purchased and preserved in land banks. The committee recommends 
that MPOs encourage the preservation of rights-of-way, potential 
transportation corridors, and waterfront land in their long-range 
planning (Chapter 4). 

Ports 

Because of the ISTEA's new emphasis on MPOs for planning and 
decision making, combined with statewide intermodal planning re- 
quirements, port officials should become much more involved in the 
planning activities of their MPOs and state transportation depart- 
ments. The act indicates that MPOs should include elected officials, 
appropriate state officials, and officials of local transportation agen- 
cies. This indicates that port officials can be directly involved in their 
MPOs, as they already are in some states and metropolitan areas. For 
example, to secure the consideration of freight transportation needs, 
Washington State recently required MPOs to include a port official on 
their boards. Port officials should seize these opportunities to ensure 
that (a) their access routes are considered for inclusion in the designa- 
tion of the National Highway System and (b) their MPOs conform to 
the intermodal freight transportation planning requirements of the 
ISTEA, which include providing for port access routes. As state and 
local officials grapple with the intermodal requirements of the IS- 
TEA, port officials should take the initiative to ensure that intermo- 
dal freight transportation needs are included (Chapter 7). 

Given the importance of and popular support for environmental 
protection, ports and local governments find themselves more ac- 
countable for the goal of protecting the environment when improving 
landside access. The federal government has provided additional as- 
sistance in meeting environmental goals. The ISTEA makes explicit 
allowance for the use of transportation funds for acquiring, restoring, 
and enhancing wetlands. Port officials should be aware of and apply 
for using such funds to compensate for the environmental effects of 
improving port access facilities (Chapter 5). 

Federal 

In addition to requiring the development of the National Highway 
System, the ISTEA charges the Secretary of Transportation with coor- 



Executive Summary 13 



dinating federal policy on intermodal transportation and initiating 
policies to promote efficient intermodal transportation in the United 
States. The Secretary can call on various offices and agencies of the 
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to carry out these 
responsibilities. 

Federal Highway Administration 

In developing regulations and in carrying out the provisions of the 
ISTEA, FHWA will play a key role in determining whether the spirit 
of the ISTEA is realized. The first opportunity to address port access 
problems will be in the designation of the National Highway System. 
FHWA should ensure that port access routes important to interstate 
and international commerce and national security are included in the 
development of this system. 

One of the basic engineering criteria that FHWA uses in determin- 
ing project eligibility for federal aid is the number of vehicles expected 
to use a facility. Many port access routes generate substantial truck 
traffic but may not carry the large number of passenger vehicles 
characteristic of federal-aid routes. Rather than simply rely on traffic 
counts in determining the eligibility of a route for federal aid, FHWA 
should develop criteria based on the importance of routes for inter- 
state commerce and national competitiveness and a favorable benefit- 
cost ratio (Chapter 7). 

Some ideas for responding to port access problems are not conven- 
tional highway projects but could be funded in part from the High- 
way Trust Fund. Ports are already pursuing a variety of strategies for 
resolving their access problems: 

Dedicated freight corridors between terminals and major rail and 
highway connections are being planned by several major ports; these 
corridors could divert truck traffic from local streets and thereby 
reduce congestion and neighborhood opposition; 

More use of on- or near-terminal rail service could also reduce 
truck traffic on local streets; 

The development of intermodal terminals many miles inland of 
the waterfront could also divert through truck traffic from congested 
urban highways; and 

Greater reliance on barge or intercoastal vessel shipments could 
reduce truck traffic between some marine terminals and other coastal 
cities. 



1 4 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U .S. PORTS 



The success of the first three of these efforts will partly depend on 
reducing the congestion caused by at-grade rail-highway crossings. 
Although the ISTEA does not mention these issues explicitly, it clearly 
encourages greater reliance on the existing intermodal transportation 
system for moving people and freight. The ISTEA also encourages 
more reliance on toll facilities and is much more permissive about the 
uses of toll revenues than previous legislation. Use of such revenues to 
develop intermodal facilities such as barge terminals could help re- 
duce truck traffic on already-congested roadways. The committee 
recommends that FHWA recognize the spirit of intermodalism and 
flexibility for states in the ISTEA in approving project proposals such 
as those listed here (Chapter 3). 

Office of Intermodalism 

The ISTEA mandates creation of the Office of Intermodalism in the 
Office of the Secretary. This office will be responsible for collecting 
intermodal data and for coordinating federal research on intermodal 
transportation. In regard to intermodal data, this committee's efforts 
to analyze bottlenecks on port landside access routes revealed the 
inadequacy of such information. Similarly, a 1992 TRB report, Data 
for Decisions, found that the major gap in DOT data collection is 
data on the origin, destination, and mode of freight flows. It also 
noted that data collection is a low-profile activity in the federal gov- 
ernment, one without many champions. The committee recommends 
that the Office of Intermodalism advocate the importance of inter- 
modal freight transportation and that it strongly encourage the new 
Bureau of Transportation Statistics in DOT to make its highest prior- 
ity the redressing of serious shortcomings in intermodal freight flow 
data (Chapter 7). 

In its role as the coordinator of intermodal research, the Office of 
Intermodalism should ensure that federal research is conducted on 
topics related to efficient freight flow to and through port complexes. 
For example, research on improving and harmonizing information 
systems and technology could help overcome some of the bottlenecks 
in information transfer at ports, which in turn could improve the flow 
of vehicles and freight. To ensure that U.S. ports remain competitive, 
a continuous effort is needed to keep abreast of worldwide innova- 
tions in cargo handling and to make that information available to 
ports and terminal operators. The office should work with ports, 



Executive Summary 15 



MPOs, and states in defining a research agenda that will help them 
address the issues they face. The federal government should serve as a 
catalyst to bring together the various parties involved in the use of 
technologies such as information systems in order to define joint 
needs, to promote standardization, and to encourage research on and 
dissemination of innovations in cargo handling and intermodal 
freight transportation (Chapter 8). 

As the ISTE A shifts the locus of decision making toward states and 
MPOs, it remains important for the federal government to communi- 
cate the national interest in routes that are critical for moving inter- 
state and international commerce. The committee recommends that 
the Office of Intermodalism make certain that studies are conducted 
periodically on the port access routes important to interstate and 
international commerce and national defense and that this informa- 
tion be conveyed to state and local officials responsible for funding 
decisions and to all parties concerned about the improvement of these 
routes (Chapter 7). 

Policy research is also needed at the federal level. For example, the 
committee examined a proposal for establishing a national port land- 
side access trust fund supported by revenues earned from a fee im- 
posed on cargo moving through the port complex. A national 
requirement would improve the ability of ports to charge a landside 
access fee, the revenues of which would be used to provide the local 
matching funds to federal transportation aid. Although appealing in 
concept, potential difficulties require additional study and analysis to 
determine if they could be resolved, and doing so was beyond the 
resources of this committee. The Office of Intermodalism should 
ensure that a study is carried out on the feasibility of the proposal for 
a landside access trust fund (Chapter 7). 

The ISTEA also calls for the creation of a National Commission on 
Intermodal Transportation, which will study the status and problems 
of intermodal transportation and recommend resources needed to 
correct these problems. The findings of this report and the foregoing 
recommendations would also apply to this commission. 

ADDITIONAL FEDERAL, STATE, AND PORT 
OPPORTUNITIES 

A variety of steps can be taken to resolve port access problems that do 
not fall under the provisions of the ISTEA. 



1 6 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Federal 

To ensure that state and local governments consider the corridors 
between major highways and ports that are important for national 
security and defense, the federal government should require planners 
at the departments of Transportation and Defense to continue the 
periodic identification of corridors that may be needed for deploy- 
ments of troops or military hardware and ammunition. In addition, 
the committee recommends that Congress consider allowing the De- 
fense Department to provide the local share of funding for transpor- 
tation projects that are of military significance but that are not a 
priority for local governments (Chapter 6). If this provision were 
incorporated into law, however, specific criteria for military signifi- 
cance would need to be included to keep this provision from becom- 
ing a vehicle for congressionally funded demonstration projects. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could do more to ensure that 
environmental goals are met without overly burdening applicants. 
Permits for responding to common areawide problems (referred to as 
special area management plans and regional permits) should be relied 
on more extensively by the Corps of Engineers; this concept might 
even be extended to cover common problems in a harbor (Chapter 5). 



States and MPOs 

Lack of funds for the local share of port access projects is one of the 
reasons that such projects fail to advance in state capital plans, if they 
make it onto the capital plan at all. Multimodal trust funds in place in 
states such as Maryland and Louisiana give state transportation agen- 
cies more flexibility to respond to intermodal transportation prob- 
lems. The successes in providing for excellent port access at Baltimore 
and the recently funded access corridor for the Port of New Orleans is 
attributable in part to having a dedicated source of state funds for 
meeting these needs. The committee recommends that states consider 
establishing multimodal transportation trust funds in order to pro- 
vide a funding source for port access needs (Chapter 7). 

Regional planning, such as that practiced in the San Francisco Bay 
Area, has brought together environmental and transportation goals 
and tried to balance the inherent conflicts between them. Although 
the Bay Area planning process has not pleased all port officials, it has 



Executive Summary 1 7 



made progress toward the goal of ensuring greater certainty in getting 
state permits for port development plans, has avoided investment in 
redundant port facilities, and has made sure that port access needs 
receive priority in the metropolitan transportation planning agency's 
short- and long-range capital plans. The committee recommends that 
MPOs consider both development and environmental needs in port 
regions when analyzing port access needs. The ability to exercise 
these opportunities may require specific state action to enable and 
empower regional planning organizations to develop and implement 
regional plans; where required, states should grant such authority 
(Chapter 5). 

States such as Massachusetts and California have developed more 
stringent state and local zoning ordinances that have been used to 
protect maritime uses on waterfront land. The committee recom- 
mends that states, coastal zone management agencies, and local gov- 
ernments develop similar zoning regulations and ordinances where 
appropriate (Chapter 4). 



Ports 

Many cities developed around their ports. As these cities have grown 
and diversified their economic bases, the contributions of ports to the 
local and regional economy may have become less apparent. Port 
officials should be actively educating local elected officials and com- 
mercial, neighborhood, and environmental groups about the trans- 
portation needs of ports, the roles ports play in moving international 
commerce and providing for national defense, and the economic 
benefits ports give to their cities and regions (Chapter 7). 

Port development plans and transportation needs in urbanized 
areas often conflict with the interests of neighborhood groups op- 
posed to traffic noise and congestion. Groups concerned with pro- 
tecting the neighborhood, environmental, and historical qualities of 
their communities have become much more involved in local plan- 
ning. Because of the power that local governments have over zoning 
and land use planning decisions, local zoning board hearings are 
typically the point at which transportation concerns are weighed 
against preservation goals. Rather than attempting to resolve such 
difficult choices in an adversarial hearing, some cities are relying on 
multiparty negotiation processes. Port officials could advance their 



1 8 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U .S. PORTS 



cause by working more closely with neighborhood groups and local 
planning officials while they are planning their improvements to de- 
velop and negotiate projects more acceptable to all parties and to help 
avoid litigation by groups opposed to such projects (Chapter 4). 

Besides coordinating more with their MPOs, ports in the same 
region should cooperate more with each other to help reduce any 
adverse environmental impact of port projects. The committee rec- 
ommends port cooperation for mitigation planning on a regional or 
harborwide basis, including planning for mitigation banking the 
restoration or enhancement of a wetland before development to help 
obtain and fulfill permit requirements (Chapter S). 

Terminal operators and users of port facilities can also take several 
steps to help reduce the bottlenecks at terminal gates and the peak 
demands placed upon marine terminals and their access routes. The 
committee recommends that terminal operators, users, and labor rep- 
resentatives collaborate to find ways to increase the hours of terminal 
operations at an affordable cost, coordinate schedules to minimize 
traffic conflicts, and alter ship-loading schedules to minimize last- 
minute peak demands on terminal facilities. Ship lines and drayage 
operators should also streamline equipment interchange procedures, 
automate paper work, and apply information-based technologies to 
increase the efficiency of terminal use and reduce peak demands on 
the surface transportation system (Chapter 8). 



Introduction 



The growing competition in international markets has increased 
the dependence of producers in the United States on an exten- 
sive and efficient transportation system. The individual modes 
of the nation's transportation system have responded well to the de- 
mands of international trade, but bottlenecks to efficient freight 
movement occur at the points at which freight moves from one mode 
to another. In particular, growing congestion on landside access 
routes to ports could threaten the efficiency of the system. 

To study the adequacy of rail and highway access to American 
ports, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) formed a study 
group in 1990 that includes the maritime, rail, highway, transit, and 
research and special program agencies of DOT as well as four trade 
associations: the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), 
the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Offi- 
cials (AASHTO), Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals, Inc. (IRPT), and 
the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA). Acting 
through the Maritime Administration (MARAD), DOT also sought 
advice from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the Na- 
tional Research Council on the nature of port access problems and 
appropriate strategies for responding to them. To conduct such a 
study, TRB convened a committee of 19 members with expertise in 
land transportation modes, shipping, ocean carriage, barge transpor- 

19 



20 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



tation, environmental regulation, economics, port administration, 
terminal design, urban planning, and state government. 



INFORMATION SOURCES 

As background material for the study committee, AAPA surveyed its 
membership about landside impediments, AASHTO requested that 
individual state DOTs respond to landside access problems as well, 
and IRPT and PNWA assisted in a survey of their members and other 
ports and terminals. In addition, the DOT interagency study team 
prepared reports on its visits to several ports around the country. The 
results of the surveys, summaries of the site visits, and responses of 
state DOTs were given to the study committee. Several members of 
the committee also participated in a 1991 workshop sponsored by 
DOT in which industry and government officials from around the 
country discussed problems with port landside access (Urban Har- 
bors Institute 1992). 

At each port the DOT study team met with port and other local 
officials, as well as with port users. They also held public meetings 
during which individuals were invited to express their concerns about 
landside access. Materials describing the ports and the problems they 
face were summarized and given to the committee, as were summa- 
ries of the public hearings. (MARAD is preparing a separate sum- 
mary for public distribution that includes the trip reports.) 



Survey of U.S. Ports 

In the chapters that follow, the committee draws on a survey of the 
member ports of AAPA. Of 85 public ports in AAPA, 54 responded to 
the questionnaire, resulting in an overall response rate of 65 percent. 
The complete list of respondents is given in the text box, and their 
locations are shown in Figure 1-1. The survey and the responses are 
provided in Appendix A. 

The respondents to the AAPA survey range in size from the largest 
ports in the United States to ports that had relatively little traffic in 
1990 (Table 1-1). Almost all the nation's general cargo ports are 
included. (General cargo usually refers to manufactured and pro- 
cessed goods, with the exception of automobiles and lumber.) Be- 



Introduction 21 




FIGURE 1-1 Pom that responded to AAPA survey. 

cause most general cargo now moves by container, and because al- 
most all general cargo will move by container within the next two 
decades, the discussion and tables in this report feature the 25 general 
cargo ports in the survey that currently handle more than 90 percent 
of container movements. The ports in the survey that moved 30,000 
or more containers in 1990 are included in the subsequent analyses of 
container ports. All but one of the container ports in the United States 
that meet this criterion responded to the AAPA survey; hence, the 
results can be assumed to be accurate in depicting the ways in which 
officials at container ports view their access problems. 

Many of the ports included in the container port classification are 
also major bulk and neo-bulk commodity ports (Table 1-1). (Bulk 
cargo refers to liquid and dry commodities moved in ship-load lots 
such as petroleum products, coal, and grain. The term "neo-bulk" is 
often used for commodities such as automobiles and lumber.) The 
ports of New York and New Jersey, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and 
Seattle, for example, were the top four container ports in 1990 (they 
handled more than 700,000 containers); they also rank among the 10 
largest ports for noncontainerized cargo. Almost all of the survey 
respondents classified as container ports also move commodities 



22 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Respondents to AAPA Survey on Landside Access 



Baltimore, Md.* 

Baton Rouge, La. 

Beaumont, Tex. 

Boston, Mass.* 

Brownsville, Tex. 

Canaveral, Fla. 

Charleston, S.C.* 

Cleveland, Ohio 

Corpus Christi, Tex. 

Detroit, Mich. 

Duluth, Minn. 

Eastport, Maine 

Everett, Wash. 

Everglades, Fla.* 

Freeport, Tex.* 

Galveston, Tex.* 

Gulfport, Miss.* 

Hampton Roads, Va.* 

Honolulu, Hawaii 

Houston, Tex.* 

Indiana Port Commission 
(Burns International, 
Clark, and South wind) 

Jacksonville, Fla.* 

Kalama, Wash. 

Lake Charles, La. 

Long Beach, Calif.* 



Longview, Wash. 
Los Angeles, Calif.* 
Manatee, Fla. 
Miami, Fla.* 
Milwaukee, Wis. 
New Orleans, La.* 
New York /New Jersey * 
Oakland, Calif.* 
Olympia, Wash. 
Pascagoula, Miss. 
Pensacola, Fla. 
Philadelphia, Pa.* 
Port Arthur, Tex. 
Portland, Maine 
Portland, Oreg.* 
Portsmouth, N.H. 
Richmond, Va.* 
San Diego, Calif. 
San Francisco, Calif.* 
Savannah, Ga.* 
Searsport, Maine 
Seattle, Wash.* 
Stockton, Calif. 
Tacoma, Wash.* 
Tampa, Fla. 
Wilmington, Del.* 
Wilmington, N.C.* 



*Ports with more than 30,000 annual 20-ft equivalent units are included in the analysis of 
container ports discussed in the text. 



other than general cargo. Most ports are an agglomeration of differ- 
ent marine terminals. Some terminals specialize in bulk commodities, 
others in general cargo. The terminals may be contiguous, but they 
are often in different parts of a harbor area. The highways and rail 
lines that serve these terminals move both container and noncon- 
tainer cargo over many of the same corridors; congestion affecting 
containerized cargoes affects the efficiency of other cargoes as well. 

The ports that responded to the survey include all the nation's 
largest ports in the 48 contiguous states and Hawaii (Alaskan ports 



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26 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



did not respond); these ports move a large share of bulk commodities. 
According to data provided by MARAD on international waterborne 
commerce handled at U.S. ports, the total tonnage reported for the 
ports that responded to the AAPA survey shown in Table 1-1 repre- 
sents about 63 percent of total U.S. import and export tonnage in 
1990; the value of this freight accounts for 87 percent of all U.S. 
imports and exports in 1990. 

The AAPA surveys only represent the views of port officials. The 
views of state transportation officials, private carriers, environmen- 
talists, and neighborhood groups are not equally represented. The 
study committee, however, includes individuals with expertise in state 
and local transportation administration, public policy, private trans- 
portation, shipping, environmental regulation, and the role of neigh- 
borhood groups in urban planning. In this report the committee has 
attempted to balance the landside access problems that ports face 
with issues such as the concerns of neighborhood groups, the public 
support of policies to protect the environment, and the complex inter- 
governmental relationships and policies that govern the provision of 
transportation facilities. 

In addition to discussing port landside access problems in the larger 
context in which they occur, the committee has also interpreted the 
survey results in a conservative manner. Ambiguous survey questions 
and answers in the AAPA survey were not used. A discussion of 
some of the limitations to the survey is provided in Appendix A, 
which also contains the entire questionnaire and a summary of the 
responses. 



Case Studies 

To help the study committee understand the landside access prob- 
lems facing ports around the country, DOT prepared reports on 
each of the site visits (see text box). Although not meant to be a 
representative sample, all coastal regions of the 48 contiguous states 
were visited (East, Gulf, and West Coasts and the Great Lakes). 
According to data supplied by MARAD on international water- 
borne commerce handled at U.S. ports, the ports included in the 
site visits accounted for about 15 percent of total tonnage handled 
by U.S. ports and 30 percent of the value of freight handled by U.S. 
ports in 1990. 



Introduction 27 



Ports and Port Authorities Visited by DOT Study Teams 

Boston, Mass. 

Charleston, S.C. 

Chicago, 111. 

Delaware River ports (Philadelphia, Chester, and Marcus Hook, Pa.; 
Camden, Glouster, Pennsauken, and Paulsboro, N.J.; and Wil- 
mington, Del.) 

Galveston Bay ports (Galveston, Houston, Port Arthur, Beaumont, 
and Texas City, Tex.) 

Hampton Roads, Va. 

Long Beach, Calif. 

Los Angeles, Calif. 

Memphis, Tenn. 

New Orleans, La. 

New York and New Jersey 

San Francisco Bay Area ports (Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, San 
Francisco, and Stockton, Calif.) 

Seattle, Wash. 

St. Louis, Mo. 

Tacoma, Wash. 

Toledo, Ohio 



The case study reports and the survey data provide a useful initial 
assessment of the scope of landside access problems. They represent 
the perceptions of port officials and, to a lesser extent, users of the 
ports, but they should not be viewed as a substitute for the detailed 
engineering and economic studies that would be required to analyze the 
specific problems and solutions to them at any individual port. 



Survey of Inland Bulk Terminals 

To provide some insight into landside access problems faced by termi- 
nal operators on the major river systems that are relied on for the 
movement of bulk commodities, IRPT and PNWA assisted in a survey 
of their members. Of 293 questionnaires that were distributed, how- 
ever, only 69 (24 percent) were returned, and the results were insuffi- 
cient to allow generalization. The few questionnaires that were 
returned provide examples of terminal operators on the inland river 
system with landside access problems. A brief overview is contained in 



28 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Appendix B. The material presented in Appendix B, though incom- 
plete, does indicate that some inland river terminals are experiencing 
landside access problems. Terminals on the nation's inland waterways 
and rivers are important to national and international commerce. Fur- 
ther study should provide more conclusive evidence about the extent 
and severity of their landside access problems. 

OUTLINE OF REPORT 

This report covers four broad subject areas that influence landside 
transportation access to ports: physical impediments, land use policies, 
regulatory constraints, and institutional issues. Chapter 2 provides 
background on the importance of ports to the U.S. economy and 
discussion on trade and transportation trends that affect the demands 
placed on U.S. ports. 

Physical impediments are discussed in Chapter 3, and some possible 
solutions are offered. Land use issues are reviewed in Chapter 4, and 
suggestions are made to port officials on how to influence the local zon- 
ing and land use decisions that affect landside access to their ports. Chap- 
ter 5 contains a review of major existing and pending regulations 
affecting landside access; it offers some suggestions for facilitating trans- 
portation improvements within the guidelines of environmental protec- 
tion; it also proposes some modifications to streamline the regulatory 
process. In Chapter 6 access issues that concern national defense and 
security are described. The institutional issues that arise when port offi- 
cials attempt to address landside bottlenecks by improving highway or 
railroad access are reviewed in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 is an overview of 
the relationship of ports with the private users of their terminals and their 
labor unions in which suggestions are offered for improving internal 
operations in ways that might reduce the peak demands of port terminals 
on surface transportation systems. The AAPA survey questionnaire is 
provided in Appendix A, the description of selected results from the 
survey of inland river terminals is provided in Appendix B, and a glossary 
is provided in Appendix C 

PREVIOUS REPORTS OF STUDY COMMITTEE 

In July 1991 the study committee completed an interim report on 
landside access that addressed those issues that the committee be- 



Introduction 29 



lieved should be considered in the reauthorization of the pending 
federal surface transportation programs. The committee's report 
identifies a wide variety of options addressing port access that will be 
of use to ports, all levels of government, and private industry. In 
December 1991 the Congress passed and the President signed the 
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Several of 
the options recommended in the committee's interim report were 
adopted. The ISTEA, which reauthorizes the federal surface trans- 
portation programs for 6 years, shifts federal transportation policies 
in many important ways, some of which can benefit ports with land- 
side access problems. These new opportunities are identified through- 
out the report. 

In February 1992 the committee completed the first phase of the 
present report, which focused on general cargo ports. Since that re- 
port was completed, the DOT study team has completed its visits to 
bulk and neo-bulk ports. The new material has been integrated into 
this report. 



REFERENCE 

Urban Harbors Institute. 1992. Landside Access to Cargo Ports Roundtable: 
Problem Definition and Possible Solutions. U.S. Department of 
Transportation. 



2 



Background 



Throughout the history of maritime transportation in the United 
States, ports have tended to specialize in various kinds of trade, 
partly because of the produce or demands of their hinterlands 
and partly because of the natural attributes of their harbors. For 
several reasons, most general cargo terminals are publicly owned, 
although individual terminals may be operated by private stevedoring 
companies. Many bulk commodity terminals are privately owned and 
operated. General cargo and bulk cargo facilities are treated sepa- 
rately in the following two sections; many ports, however, have ter- 
minals for moving both types of cargo, which depend on the same 
inland infrastructure. 



GENERAL CARGO PORTS 

Before containerization, general cargo terminals operated with large 
numbers of employees in a time-consuming, labor-intensive process 
of loading and unloading ships filled with cargo in crates of all sizes. 
The cargo would be moved off the ship to the pier, where it would be 
sorted and delivered to the warehouses of trucking or rail firms. 
Before containerization, general cargo vessels off-loaded their cargo 
with their own cranes. Then the cargo was re-sorted for movement by 

30 



Background 31 



another mode. This process is called a break-bulk operation. Bulk 
cargo, in contrast, was off-loaded by conveyor belt, pipeline, or 
crane, because it lent itself to economies of scale and automation 
more readily than general cargo. 

Some terminals and ports continue to specialize in general cargo 
break-bulk operations, but the growth in containerization and inter- 
modal transportation has substantially changed the design and oper- 
ation of most general cargo terminals and ports. For example, 
instead of ships having cranes to move their own cargo, terminals 
that handle containers have massive cranes on the dock that move 
the containers from ship to shore; these cranes improve the produc- 
tivity of the ship-terminal interface. They also reduce the number of 
piers at which containerized general cargo can be unloaded since 
fewer piers offer this expensive equipment. This concentration of 
cargo at specific terminals has direct implications on the amount of 
land needed and the landside routes that serve the terminals. 



Container and Intermodal Revolution 

During the past 30 years, innovations and cost reductions in the 
transportation of general cargo imports and exports have been little 
short of revolutionary. Most general cargo now moves from origin 
to destination in steel containers that reduce handling costs, pil- 
ferage, and damage in transit. Ships have grown enormously to gain 
greater economies of scale: the container ships of the 1960s could 
carry a few hundred containers; the largest vessels today can carry 
4,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The cost reductions for 
general cargo have been so large that the biggest container ships 
have brought the cost per ton-mile of moving general cargo down to 
that of bulk cargo (Eyre 1989). (Not all container ships on order 
are so large, however, because some markets are more suited to 
ships in the 2,000- to 4,000-TEU range.) The gigantic cranes that 
move these containers from ship to shore (cranes that port opera- 
tors, rather than ship owners, generally must invest in) have also 
provided dramatic gains in port productivity. In 1960 all ports on 
the West Coast averaged 0.83 worker-hr/ton of cargo. By 1985 this 
figure had dropped to almost a tenth of its former value (Pacific 
Maritime Association 1989). New trains with cars capable of carry- 
ing double-stack containers move freight inland at a cost estimated 



32 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



* 



. --^J. 




Major productivity gains in the movement of general cargo have been made 
possible by containerization and in termed al technologies (photograph cour- 
tesy Joe Rodriguez, Port of New Orleans). 

to be 25 to 40 percent less than that of moving containers on 
flatcars, which is also roughly equivalent to the cost of moving bulk 
cargo over land (Talley 1988; Hayuth 1987). Continued gains in 
terminal productivity are likely, but they will probably come from 
information systems technology, design improvements, and, per- 
haps, improved labor-management relations rather than from the 
economies of scale provided by new cranes, ships, and terminals 
(see Chapter 8). 

Because the transportation system in the United States is competi- 
tive, the cost savings of the intermodal revolution have been passed 



Background 33 



on to shippers, producers, and consumers. Automobile manufac- 
turers in the Midwest receive components partially assembled in Asia 
that arrive by container. American farmers can realize substantial cost 
savings when shipping produce such as cotton to the Far West, be- 
cause even bulk cargoes have begun to move in containers. Con- 
sumers all over the country benefit from the lower cost of goods 
shipments. A consumer in Los Angeles can buy a pair of jeans shipped 
by container from Hong Kong for which the transportation cost is 
only 25 cents (Kagan 1990). 



Containerization and Intermodalism 

Maintaining and building on the efficiency of the intermodal system are 
important to the competitiveness of U.S. goods and to lower costs for 
consumers. In some segments of the freight transportation industry, 
"intermodal" is defined as the transfer of containers from ship to rail. 
This study committee, however, sees the term in a larger context. Its 
definition includes transfers between all freight modes involved in gen- 
eral cargo transportation (ship, rail, and truck), taken as a system for 
moving freight from origin to destination by its most efficient means. 

The most efficient form of freight transportation is one in which 
the goods move in an uninterrupted flow from shipper to receiver. In 
actual practice, however, most freight movements of farther than 700 
to 1 ,000 mi require more than one mode. For maritime shipments 
which must be transferred from land to water and water to land 
intermodal transportation is inescapable. The landside movement for 
many overseas shipments may amount to no more than a short trip to 
and from the docks by truck (referred to as "drayage"), but that 
transfer between modes is expensive and time-consuming. When the 
origin and destination are well inland and most of the landside move- 
ment is by rail, it is still usually necessary to pick up and deliver by 
truck. Thus, two land modes may be used. Moving goods from rail to 
ship and ship to rail usually requires truck drayage, and therefore two 
more modal transfers. 

Each transfer interrupts the flow of freight and introduces ineffi- 
ciencies into the system. The virtue of containerized freight transpor- 
tation is that by simplifying and speeding up the cargo-handling 
process at each transfer point, it minimizes interruptions and restores 
as many efficiencies as possible. The container itself, being closed and 



34 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



relatively impregnable, offers protection from the elements, reduces 
the chances of damage, and almost eliminates the pilferage that used 
to plague break-bulk operations. Moreover, refrigerated and tank 
containers have been developed to carry specialized cargo. These 
attributes are important, but they are eclipsed by the advantage that 
the container is unitized and, at least in international trade, modular. 1 
As such, the container lends itself to mechanized, even automated, 
handling. It is this standardization and mechanization that has vastly 
improved the efficiency with which ships, trains, and trucks are 
loaded and unloaded and cargo is transferred across marine terminals 
from one mode to another. 

Although intermodal transportation existed before containeriza- 
tion, the quick and easy interchange of containers between modes has 
contributed directly to the steady growth in intermodal traffic in 
recent years and has helped create a distinct industry for intermodal 
container transportation. Today's intermodalism has been helped not 
only by containers and container-handling technology, but also by the 
application of modern logistics concepts (with the help of computers) 
to the business of moving freight. Manifestations of this application 
include the widespread availability of single through (point-to-point) 
rates and single bills of lading (considerably reducing paperwork); 
continually updated and readily accessible information about the lo- 
cation and status of shipments; the growth of volume and service 
contracts between shippers and carriers; the general adoption by car- 
riers of hub-and-spoke operations; the development of inland pickup 
and delivery networks with carefully coordinated schedules for ships, 
trains, and trucks; and the corporate consolidations and mergers that 
have led to integrated intermodal transportation firms that exercise 
end-to-end control over international freight movements. These or- 
ganizational and institutional innovations were just as revolutionary 
as the technological innovations in equipment. The combination of 
containerization and intermodalism has been synergistic: container- 
ization increased the practicality of intermodalism, and intermodal- 
ism increased the efficiency of containerization. 



Importance of Intermodal Marine Container Transportation 

A common way of measuring the importance of a freight transporta- 
tion function is in terms of the volume and value of the goods carried. 



Background 35 



For the marine container transportation industry, that means measur- 
ing the part of U.S. foreign trade that is waterborne (i.e., excluding 
all air shipments and overland trade with Canada and Mexico) and 
containerized. Recent estimates suggest that the value of contain- 
erized trade is approaching $200 billion a year (TRB 1992a). 

Certainly any industry that handles nearly $200 billion in goods 
each year is a major factor in the American economy, and there is 
every reason to believe that this industry will keep growing, if not at 
quite the same high rate. Containerized cargoes might represent 85 to 
90 percent of general cargo by the end of the century, and even the 
most conservative estimates suggest an annual compound growth rate 
of more than 2 percent a year (Chadwin et al. 1990). Estimates for 
the West Coast tend to be higher because of the burgeoning Pacific 
Rim trade; these estimates suggest annual growth rates of 5 percent 
(Sclar 1991; Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates 1987). 



BULK PORTS AND TERMINALS 

In the highly competitive enterprise of bulk commodity shipping, 
ports worldwide have been increasing the efficiency of their opera- 
tions through capital investments that increase throughput and de- 
crease labor costs (Branch 1986). Ports unable to offer efficient 
loading and unloading risk losing commerce to ports that offer these 
facilities. In the United States, many bulk handling terminals are 
privately owned and operated. The shipping lines, railroads, and 
companies that own these facilities have invested in increased auto- 
mation to maximize the efficiency of ship or rail operations. Because 
most bulk commodities are of a relatively low value per ton, transpor- 
tation makes up a larger share of the total cost than it does in contain- 
erized cargo. This increases the emphasis on economies of scale. 
Modern dry-bulk handling facilities are designed to minimize ship 
and rail car dwell time by speeding the loading and unloading pro- 
cess. This is accomplished by large-scale technologies: massive 
cranes, continuous-feed conveyor belt systems, and high- volume 
gravity-fed loaders supported from stockpiles fed by long, highly 
efficient unit trains or low-cost, high-volume barges. 

Bulk and neo-bulk commodities account for a major share of the 
value of U.S. exports and imports handled by U.S. ports. Census data 
on international commodity moves through U.S. ports (provided to 






/ 

Capital investments in bulk-handling technologies have increased throughput 
and reduced labor costs (photograph courtesy Port of Tacoma). 

the study committee by the Maritime Administration) indicate that 
the total value of all import and export freight was about $458 billion 
in 1990; noncontainerized goods, most of which were bulk and neo- 
bulk, accounted for about $258 billion of these commodity moves. 

Long-range forecasts of trade imply that the total tonnage of inter- 
national cargo shipped to and from the United States could triple 
between 1990 and 2020 (Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associ- 
ates 1987). According to forecasts of total world rate provided to this 
study by DRI/TBS World Sea Trade Service, the tonnage of total 
international ocean trade could double between 1992 and 2020; this 
same forecast shows the TEUs of containers tripling by 2010. These 
growth rates have important implications for seaports and indicate 
ever-growing demands on the landside transportation system that 
serves them. 



GROWTH CAPACITY RELATIVE TO DEMAND 

The growing landside access problems confronting ports raise con- 
cerns about how such problems might reduce the efficiency of trans- 



Background 37 



porting imports and exports. To the extent that export costs rise, 
American products can become less competitive abroad, which 
would weaken U.S. economic growth. To the extent that import costs 
rise, consumers pay higher prices for goods, resulting in an efficiency 
loss to the economy. 

The issue of landside access to ports, although local in nature, has 
national policy implications. The first, and most obvious, questions 
address the scope and severity of the problem: how severe and wide- 
spread is the problem today and how much will it increase in the 
future? The answers, however, are not so simple; they depend on a 
variety of influences affecting international and domestic transporta- 
tion and will vary from port to port depending on market demand 
and local circumstances. 

The complexities in estimating the consequences for the nation of 
specific landside access problems is compounded by a lack of ade- 
quate data on freight flows. Without information on the volume of 
trade flowing through specific points, its origin and destination, the 
available capacity on alternative routes and modes, and the cost of 
using these alternatives, it is difficult to estimate the precise timing 
and location of landside bottlenecks. A Transportation Research 
Board report found that "the biggest gap in [the U.S. Department of 
Transportation's] multimodal data programs is in flow data" and 
identified this as a priority for the new Bureau of Transportation 
Statistics mandated by the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation 
Efficiency Act (TRB 1992b). 

Given the complexities of the transportation demand and supply 
relationship and the lack of adequate detailed data, it is only possible 
to describe broad influences on supply and demand. On the demand 
side the issues affecting landside access appear to be 

Current and projected demand for imports and exports, and 

Growth potential of containerized cargo. 

On the supply side the issues appear to be 

Adequacy of harbors, channels, and berths; 

Size and operating characteristics of shipping fleets; 

Port physical and throughput capacity; 

Availability and throughput capacity of rail lines (especially 
double-stack trains); and 

Adequacy of road access. 



38 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



It is inherently difficult to forecast the long-range demand of im- 
ports and exports; the effects on the transportation system are com- 
plicated further because dimensions of supply and demand are 
interrelated. For example, shipping lines estimate supply and demand 
for containerized cargoes and order ships on the basis of these projec- 
tions. As ships grow larger or more efficient (or both), the cost of 
ocean transport falls, which increases the attraction of shipping by 
container even for some commodities not considered general cargo. 
In addition, the advent of intermodal transportation and container- 
ization has caused the cost of moving cargo across the continent 
by rail ("land-bridging") to become competitive with the cost of 
moving it by sea through the Panama Canal. This has increased 
freight flows through ports for cross-continental shipments that for- 
merly moved by sea. Most land-bridge traffic originates in Asia and is 
bound for the Midwest and East Coast of the United States. It is 
possible that increased manufacturing in Southeast Asia will produce 
sufficient volumes of cargo headed for the East Coast that it will 
become economical to ship this cargo by way of the Suez Canal and 
across the Atlantic Ocean rather than across the Pacific Ocean and 
across the continent via land bridges. For East Coast-bound cargo 
originating south of Hong Kong, the Suez Canal-Atlantic Ocean 
route is shorter than the Pacific Ocean-land bridge route. In the short 
run the increased freight flows through ports used for land-bridging 
may cause dislocations and increased congestion. Over the longer 
run, adjustments in the supply of transportation facilities are 
possible. 

Estimates on the supply side are also difficult to make because not 
all are driven by economics. Some ports will have trouble with neigh- 
borhood groups or environmental issues and may be unable to ex- 
pand to meet market demand, even though they have considerable 
advantages over other ports in location or transport costs. (Political, 
social, and institutional constraints on port capacity are discussed in 
greater detail in subsequent chapters of the report.) Although the 
capacity of some ports is limited by such constraints, some commu- 
nities have made new capacity-enhancing investments, some of which 
may prove to be in excess of demand. Given the complexity of 
supply-and-demand relationships and the lack of adequate freight 
flow data, this study can address their national consequences only in 
a qualitative manner, with the assumption that it is possible to draw 
reasonable inferences from such an approach. 



Background 39 



Demand for Imports and Exports 

Exports have been a growing share of the gross national product 
(GNP), reflecting the growing globalization of the U.S. economy. In 
1970 exports accounted for about 5 percent of GNP; by 1990 this 
share had more than doubled. Imports have grown even faster, result- 
ing in a balance-of- trade deficit in recent years. Most forecasts show 
continued growth in both exports and imports. As international trade 
grows, the potential increases for congestion on the rail lines and 
highways serving the ports. 



Growth Potential of Containerized Cargoes 

Some general cargo ports continue to specialize in specific, noncon- 
tainerized cargo such as some food and forest products and auto- 
mobiles. Containerization, however, has made substantial inroads 
into cargo not formerly considered suitable. Foodstuffs, bulk cargo 
such as logs and cotton, and even commodities such as fresh flowers 
can take advantage of low rates and are increasingly containerized 
(Chadwin et al. 1990, 113). Innovations have even included the de- 
velopment of stacking systems that allow automobiles to be contain- 
erized; commercial applications of this new technology began in 1992 
(American Shipper 1992, 59). As indicated earlier, most general 
cargo is likely to be containerized in the future, and much bulk cargo 
may be as well. Shippers of bulk cargo can take advantage of low 
transportation rates for containers that would otherwise be moved 
empty in backhauls. Developing countries that are important trading 
partners are investing in container ports to export their goods. 



Adequacy of Harbors, Channels, and Berths 

By most estimates the nation has ample waterside capacity of natural 
harbors, channels, and berths for shipping (although dredging to 
deepen channels and disposing of the dredged materials are made 
difficult and expensive by environmental regulations). Harbor and 
channel depths can constrain the shipping of bulk commodities, but 
they are less of an issue for container ships. New container ships, 
even the largest ones, require far less depth than the largest bulk 



40 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



ships. The newest container ships have been designed so that they can 
carry more boxes than previous designs without requiring deeper 
drafts. Because of shifting traffic patterns caused by land-bridging, a 
significant amount of general cargo now moves across the country by 
rail instead of through the Panama Canal, and container ship dimen- 
sions are no longer constrained by the width of the canal. Hence, the 
newest container vessel designs carry more cargo because the width 
rather than the draft of the ship is increased (Clayton 1989, 24). The 
largest bulk commodity ships are constrained by the canal and take 
an all-water route around South America. 

Relatively few U.S. harbors have channel depths adequate for the 
largest, most efficient vessels that are designed to carry bulk com- 
modities when fully loaded. The largest vessels achieve economies of 
scale that are important to commodities of high density and relatively 
low cost per ton. Although many U.S. ports have channel depths of 
40 ft or more, for the contiguous 48 states, most of the deepest-draft 
vessel calls are made at the San Pedro Bay ports (Los Angeles and 
Long Beach), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Balti- 
more, the Delaware River ports, and the ports in Hampton Roads 
(Marine Board 1985, Appendix G). The deepest-draft vessels can call 
at other ports with less channel depth, but to do so they must be 
loaded at less than capacity ("light loaded") and, in some cases, they 
are constrained to moving at high tide. Channels can be deepened at 
ports other than those with naturally deep harbors, but cost and 
environmental concerns make such proposals expensive, controver- 
sial, and time-consuming. 2 

Bulk commodities do not have to move by the deepest-draft vessels. 
Indeed, much of the nation's bulk imports and exports move via the 
Gulf Coast, where the vast majority of calls are made in ships that 
require no more than 40 ft of draft (Marine Board 1985). Drafts of 
bulk vessels on the Great Lakes are usually less than 30 ft. The 
economics of shipping a bulk commodity depend on many dimen- 
sions; for the Gulf Coast, the enormous volume of bulk commodities 
that move up and down the Mississippi River and the existence of 
many petroleum refineries make it economical to move commodities 
by shallower-draft vessels. All else being equal, of course, economies 
of scale in vessel size are still very important, and the general trend is 
toward larger vessels. For oil tankers serving the Gulf Coast, for 
example, use of the deepest-draft vessels has been made possible by 
an offshore terminal located in deep water 1 8 mi off the Louisiana 



Background 41 



coast (the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port). Petroleum is offloaded at this 
terminal and then shipped inland via pipeline. 

The need for deeper-draft harbors does not apply to the inland 
waterways. Channel depths are typically 9 ft or less, which makes 
movement by barge the most cost-effective approach. Because termi- 
nals to serve these barges are not constrained by the need for harbors, 
there are many possible locations for bulk terminals. 

Size and Characteristics of Shipping Fleets 

By most estimates there is sufficient, if not too much, capacity in the 
liner trade. Besides the two largest U.S. flag carriers that offer inter- 
modal service Sea-Land and American President Lines more than 
30 ship operators provide regularly scheduled service between the 
United States and Far East and between the United States and Europe 
(TRB 1992b). 

As container traffic grew, major shipping lines invested in ever-larger 
ships to gain greater economies of scale. Ships capable of carrying 
2,500 to 4,500 TEUs are already calling at West Coast ports, and ca- 
pacities greater than 5,000 TEUs are possible. Even so, there appears 
to be a market for smaller container vessels moving more specialized 
cargoes (Chadwinetal. 1990; Chilcote 1988). In addition, some major 
lines are ordering vessels of 2,000 to 4,000 TEUs (instead of those with 
the largest capacities) in order to provide their customers with smaller, 
faster ships that provide more frequent service. 

Seagoing vessels that move noncontainerized commodities are get- 
ting larger to achieve greater economies of scale. Vessels carrying 
automobiles have added decks and length. Those moving bulk liquids 
or grains have increased width and length in order to carry more 
cargo. Whereas the newest vessels are getting larger, most vessels 
designed for bulk commodities have design drafts of 45 ft or less. 
These vessels, however, are used in intercoastal trade or on shorter 
sea routes. Most long-distance moves are made in the largest vessels 
(Marine Board 1985, 29). As in the liner trade, there is excess capac- 
ity in the supply of bulk and neo-bulk ships. 

Port Physical and Throughput Capacity 

The high capital cost of modern seagoing vessels makes their dwell 
time in port a major expense. Shipping lines cannot afford to have 



42 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



major capital assets used unproductively. The efficiency of port termi- 
nals, therefore, has become more important in shipping economics, 
and shipping lines are calling at fewer ports. In the intermodal trade, 
the ports that carriers select for calls are often referred to as "load 
center" ports. They are increasingly used as transfer points for cargo 
moving inland to destinations formerly served by other ports that 
previously received shipping line service. Although the trend toward 
load centering is often overstated some ports that are no longer 
served by one shipping line may still be served by other shipping 
lines the shift toward containerization and greater economies of 
scale in ship and terminal operations has tended to result in the 
concentration of cargo at fewer terminals. Concentrating cargo at 
some ports has also increased the demands on the landside transpor- 
tation system of these ports. Many major load center ports are lo- 
cated in harbors that are also well suited to serving bulk 
commodities. The terminals that serve the bulk commodities are, in 
turn, served by the same rail lines and highways that are in greater 
demand to move containers. 

The increased congestion at these ports, however, can be relieved 
over the long run by spreading the demand to currently underused 
facilities. As even the load center ports reach a certain level of satura- 
tion over the next 20 to 30 years, other lesser-used ports, such as San 
Diego, may emerge as important parts of the national intermodal sys- 
tem. Some of these ports may be served by the same shipping lines that 
currently transfer most of their cargo at their load centers. Others may 
be served by smaller, more specialized ships. It is not possible to be 
precise about whether or when currently underused ports will become 
economically attractive to shipping lines, but when examining prob- 
lems of demand at ports that are used heavily now, it is important to 
keep in mind the potential relief these ports might offer. 

At present, relatively few terminals can handle large container ships 
in the turnaround time required by shipping lines, and few ports have 
the other elements that are attractive for load centering: a large nearby 
market for containers, good highway access to serve regional markets, 
and double-stack rail service to the Midwest or opposite coast. Even so, 
many ports with several of these features are not yet load centers, and it 
is possible that over the next two decades most existing coastal ports 
will serve as a load center for some shipping line. 

The status and attendant economic benefits of becoming a load 



Background 43 



center port are considerable, and port communities have spent mil- 
lions of dollars to attain that status (Chilcote 1988). As a result, 
competition among ports in the United States has become intense. A 
major difficulty for ports trying to improve their competitive standing 
is that the determinations are made by a relatively small number of 
major shipping lines. Some ports have gained new service at the 
expense of others (Chilcote 1988). Other major container ports have 
managed to hold on to a constant volume of trade. Gulf Coast ports 
have been disadvantaged by land-bridging serving their interior mar- 
kets from ports on the East and West Coasts, although some, such as 
Houston, are building a growing container trade. Ports on the Great 
Lakes have been disadvantaged by land-bridging as well, partly be- 
cause ships wider than the Panama Canal are also unable to negotiate 
the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

Chadwin et al. (1990) speculate that the 1990s will see a major 
shakeout of ports throughout the industrialized West. Some failing 
ports, they suggest, will withdraw from the competition, especially 
those in urban areas that are coming under the increasing pressure of 
gentrification and environmental restrictions. For the longer term, 
the fate of small and medium-sized general cargo ports is important. 
Although they move only a small share of international commerce 
now, they are important assets for the future. 

The physical assets of ports are important to their throughput 
capacity, but throughput is also affected by many operational consid- 
erations. Labor-management relations, local work rules, cooperation 
(or the lack of it) among users of port terminals, terminal physical 
and operational design, and loading schedules of shipping lines all 
directly affect terminal throughput and the peak capacity demands 
placed on landside access routes. Hence, throughput capacity is a 
variable that cannot be estimated with any precision without con- 
ducting detailed engineering and economic studies of an individual 
port. Each individual port or port terminal can exercise a different set 
of options to help reduce peak demand on the landside system. Some 
ports can afford to open gates during the evening, some can begin to 
rely more heavily on rail as double-stack access is improved, and 
some will be able to improve internal logistics in ways that will use 
existing facilities more efficiently. Thus, whereas landside access 
problems are likely to grow as international trade increases faster 
than the supply of roads and rail lines can respond in the short run, 



44 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



each individual port has a different ability (or faces a different set of 
constraints) in responding to increased demand. Port terminal opera- 
tions and how they affect access routes are discussed in Chapter 8. 

Availability and Throughput of Rail Lines 

The improved efficiency of rail shipments, particularly double-stack 
unit trains for moving containerized cargo, has radically changed the 
economics of shipping. No more than a decade ago, shipping lines in 
the Pacific sent cargoes to the East Coast by way of the Panama 
Canal, but now much cross-continental service with double-stack 
trains is quicker and cheaper. Ports served by rail lines with bridge 
and tunnel clearances adequate for double stacks have a considerable 
advantage over ports that have been unable to establish double-stack 
service. Because railroads move most of the containers destined more 
than 500 mi from the ports, Chilcote (1988) argues that the quality of 
rail service will increasingly dominate the choice of load center ports. 
Railroads, like shipping lines, have made major investments in 
double-stack trains, and they also emphasize the importance of termi- 
nal efficiency to reduce the waiting period while trains are loaded. 

Adequacy of Road Access 

All ports desire the efficient movement of freight from the ship, across 
the marine terminal, and onto a rail line or highway. The productivity 
benefits gained from container vessels, more highly automated ma- 
rine terminals, double-stack trains, highly efficient unit-trains, and 
bulk-handling technologies are diminished if severe bottlenecks on 
the land side impede the efficient flow of traffic beyond the port. 
Although many containers off-loaded at a port may be headed for the 
local market (requiring drayage to nearby warehouses or ultimate 
destination points), many shippers also use trucks to serve inland 
markets within 300 to 500 mi of the port of entry. Many bulk cargoes 
are also destined for a local market. Tanker trucks are often the 
means of conveying refined petroleum products to consumers in the 
greater metropolitan area of the port of entry. Ports, therefore, need 
to be close to Interstate and other major highway networks. The 
access roads to these major highways are also important; they are 
often the source of bottlenecks. 



Background 45 



Aside from the adequacy of the physical infrastructure, many other 
issues affect landside access. Logistics decisions made by shipping 
lines and railroads determine whether ports will receive double-stack 
service. Land use regulation helps determine land cost and availabil- 
ity to the port and influences the surrounding land uses and their 
effects on traffic congestion. Regulations defining eligibility for fed- 
eral and state highway funds, wetlands preservation, air quality, and 
hazardous materials transportation affect the ability of ports to im- 
prove their productivity. The ability of ports to influence many of 
these issues is reduced in some respects by the ports' institutional 
status. These problems, and opportunities for reducing them, are 
addressed in the subsequent chapters. 



NOTES 

1. "Unitized" refers to the aggregation of cargo into a uniform unit, and "modu- 
lar" refers to different units that are exact multiples and precisely substituta- 
ble, for example, a 40-ft container substituting for two 20-ft containers 
(VanDenBurg 1969, 23; Muller 1989, 119). 

2. The need for and controversy surrounding dredging are treated thoroughly in 
a 1985 Marine Board report, Dredging Coastal Ports: An Assessment of the 
Issues, available from the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 



REFERENCES 

American Shipper. 1992. Sea-Land to Use Autostack. July, p. 59. 

Branch, A. 1986. Elements of Port Operation and Management. Chapman and 
Hall, London and New York. 

Chadwin, M.L., J.A. Pope, and W.K. Talley. 1990. Ocean Container Transporta- 
tion: An Operational Perspective. Taylor and Francis, New York, N. Y. 

Chilcote, P. 1988. The Containerization Story: Meeting the Competition in 
Trade. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor 
and Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 125- 146. 

Clayton, R. 1989. Containerization in the 90s. Fairplay, August 17, p. 24. 

Eyre, J.L. 1989. The Container Ships of 1999. Maritime Policy and Manage- 
ment, Vol. 16, pp. 133-145. 

Hayuth, Y. 1987. Intermodalism: Concept and Practice. Lloyds of London Press, 
London, England. 

Kagan, R.A. 1990. Patterns of Port Development: Government, Intermodal 
Transportation, and Innovation in the United States, China, and Hong Kong. 



46 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Research Report UCB-ITS-RR-90-13. Institute of Transportation Studies, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley. 

Marine Board. 1985. Dredging Coastal Ports: An Assessment of the Issues. 
National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

Muller, G. 1989. Intermodal Freight Transportation, 2nd ed. Eno Foundation, 
Westport, Conn. 

Pacific Maritime Association. 1989. Annual Report, 1988. San Francisco, Calif. 

Sclar, M. 1991 . Impacts of Iraq and the New Europe on Waterborne Transporta- 
tion. Presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research 
Board, Washington, D.C. 

Talley, W. 1988. The Role of Ocean Ports in Promoting an Efficient Ocean 
Transportation System. Maritime Policy and Management, Vol. 15, pp. 147- 
155. 

TRB. 1992a. Special Report 236: Intermodal Marine Container Transportation: 
Impediments and Opportunities. National Research Council, Washington, 
D.C. 

TRB. 1992b. Special Report 234: Data for Decisions: Requirements for National 
Transportation Policy Making. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 

VanDenBurg, G. 1969. Containerization: A Modern Transport System. Hutchin- 
son and Company, London, England. 

Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates. 1987. San Pedro Bay Cargo Fore- 
casting Project 2020, Vol. 1, Table 1-1, Philadelphia, Pa. 



3 



Physical Access 



Infrastructure constraints to port landside access are characterized 
by deficient bridges, freeway access ramps, railway grade cross- 
ings, and railway tunnels and underpasses, as well as congested 
or inadequate roadways serving marine terminals. These constraints 
are not systemwide, but site-specific. They either impede the flow of 
traffic at a certain point, such as a rail-highway grade crossing, or 
hamper or prevent the use of equipment that was developed after the 
facility was built, such as double-stack trains. Thus, the impediments 
increase the time and cost of moving goods beyond the docks of port 
terminals. 



IMPEDIMENTS 
Roadway Access 
Congestion 

Many of the major cities in the United States grew up around their 
ports. Of the 54 ports that responded to the American Association of 
Port Authorities (AAPA) survey, 22 are in metropolitan areas with 
populations of 1 million or more. Traffic congestion is growing in 
many of these areas. Eleven of the ports are in metropolitan areas 

47 



48 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 




Traffic congestion is growing in the metropolitan areas wherein most ports 
are located. 



with the worst traffic congestion in the country (TTI 1990). Two of 
the three largest container ports in the United States (the ports of Los 
Angeles and Long Beach) are in the metropolitan area that the Texas 
Transportation Institute (TTI) study ranked as the most congested in 
the country. Almost all ports are within a few miles of an Interstate 
highway, but many port terminals must be reached by state highways 
and local urban streets. Not surprisingly, about half the ports report 
experiencing increased congestion and delay on the major truck 
routes that serve their marine terminals (Table 3-1). This problem is 
more pronounced for container ports: 64 percent of container ports 
report that the major roads serving them are usually or always heavily 
used by passenger traffic and suffer the resulting congestion and 
delay whereas 38 percent of noncontainer ports report that their 
truck routes are usually or always congested (Table 3-1). This differ- 
ence may be explained by the greater reliance of bulk and neo-bulk 
terminals on trains and pipelines and by the tendency for major con- 
tainer ports to be in larger, congested urban areas. 



Physical Access 49 



TABLE 3-1 Infrastructure Impediments Identified in AAPA Survey 



All Ports 

(if = 54) 


Container Ports 

(n = 25) 


All Other 

(n = 29) 


Impediment 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


Truck routes congested 














Usually or always 


27 


50 


16 


64 


11 


38 


Sometimes 


22 


24 


6 


24 


6 


21 


Additional rights-of- 














way for new routes 














available 


12 


41 


9 


36 


13 


45 


Drawbridges 














contribute to 














congestion 














Usually or always 


7 


13 


5 


20 


2 


7 


Sometimes 


11 


20 


7 


28 


4 


14 


Roadway turning radii 














adequate 














Usually or always 


43 


80 


19 


76 


24 


83 


Sometimes 


8 


15 


4 


16 


4 


14 


Port terminal served by 














weight-restricted 














bridges 


7 


13 


4 


16 


3 


10 


Truck routes clearly 














marked 














Usually or always 


34 


63 


19 


76 


15 


52 


Sometimes 


11 


20 


3 


12 


8 


26 


Rarely or never 


7 


13 


3 


12 


4 


14 


Rail tracks in highway 














rights-of-way 


34 


63 


18 


72 


16 


52 


Numerous at-grade 














rail-highway 














crossings 


25 


46 


14 


56 


11 


38 


Inadequate clearances 














for high-cube double 














stacks 


12 


22 


9 


36 


3 


10 



NOTE: The questionnaire from which these results were obtained is given in 
Appendix A. 

Examples from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) site 
visits help illustrate some of the problems. In the Pacific Northwest 
both the Seattle and Tacoma ports have good road access, but Seat- 
tle's port is surrounded by a densely developed urban environment, 
one that the TTI study rated as the sixth-most-congested area in the 



50 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



country. Access is provided by local streets that also serve commercial 
and tourist traffic. Users of the port have expressed concern that the 
city has put greater emphasis on developing tourism than on address- 
ing the needs of the freight transportation. Once past congested local 
streets, however, access to Interstate 5 is good. 

Tacoma's main landside access route to 1-5, though congested at 
times, is also good, according to the DOT study team. Tacoma's 
access to the Interstate system will be further improved by the 
planned removal of the Blair Waterway Bridge and by an interchange 
extension from 1-705 into the harbor area. In 1985 peak-hour con- 
gestion was not perceived as a serious impediment to commerce, and 
congestion was expected to be eased by the completion of Interstates 
705 and 5 in the early 1990s (TAMS 1985). Now the Interstate 
highways that serve these ports are congested during peak hours. 

The ports of San Francisco Bay (including Sacramento) have good 
connections to Interstate highways; however, the main access routes 
serving the ports of Oakland and San Francisco were severely dam- 
aged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Although planning is 
well under way, it will be some time before these routes are replaced. 
Even before the loss of a key connection to the Interstate, congestion 
on 1-80 slowed truck movements to and from Oakland and conges- 
tion in San Francisco delayed traffic destined for the city's port. As in 
other parts of the country, the access problem is not just the capacity 
of the roads serving port terminals but also the levels of congestion on 
the major primary highways connecting ports with the markets they 
serve. 

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are only 1 to 3 mi from 
1-710 and 1-110, but they depend on local streets for access to these 
Interstates, and the three rail lines serving the ports cross many local 
streets at grade, often delaying traffic (rail access issues are discussed 
in the next subsection) and, as mentioned, the major highways in 
the Los Angeles area are rated the most congested in the country. 
Some access problems have been eased by the development of the 
Intermodal Container Transfer Facility operated by Southern Pacific 
Railroad, which is a joint project of the two ports. Road access for 
drayage to this facility, by way of the Terminal Island Freeway, is 
good. But projected growth in cargo movements through the ports 
implies increased congestion on all landside access routes serving the 
ports. The two ports and their area governments have an ambitious 
program (the Alameda Corridor) to improve local access problems 



Physical Access 51 



but its success will depend on whether the neighborhood approves the 
upgrade of one roadway into a major freight corridor and whether 
the railroad that controls the most direct line to the ports will agree to 
sell (neighborhood issues are discussed in the next chapter). 

Some road access problems for Gulf Coast ports that were visited 
by the DOT study team are being addressed. The Port of New Or- 
leans will benefit from the Tchoupitoulas Corridor, a recently funded 
project that will improve truck access to the port. The ports on 
Galveston Bay generally have good road access, and the Texas De- 
partment of Transportation is actively working with the ports to 
resolve those problems that do exist. For example, the state initiated 
a study of inadequate access from the causeway serving Galveston 
Island and the port's container terminal. A major project has been 
planned to bypass a city street serving the terminal by providing a 
direct ramp to the terminal. This project would also eliminate prob- 
lems with at-grade rail crossings. 

The DOT study team also visited major Mississippi River ports. 
Although St. Louis has some problems with aged bridges, most of its 
barge terminals have few problems with road access. The terminals 
are spread over many miles of riverfront, which results in less concen- 
tration of traffic at any one point. Because there are many possible 
locations for terminals, they can locate wherever they will have good 
access. At Memphis, however, the terminals are on an island next to 
the city. The port director expressed concerns about the poor design 
of the single, winding access route serving the marine terminals. He 
was concerned about both inefficient traffic movements and the 
safety hazard. 

Two major bridges serving the Port of Charleston are old and defi- 
cient and thereby contribute to congestion on the routes serving the 
ports. Upgrading them, however, could cost $435 million, which is 
far more than the total federal-aid bridge replacement program for 
the entire state (this program totaled $15 million in FY 1990). 
Bridges of this size can be financed through a special discretionary 
federal fund for high-cost bridge replacement, but many bridges 
around the country compete for these limited funds. (The role of the 
federal government in port development and related capital needs is 
discussed in Chapter 7.) 

Other projects are proceeding in Charleston, however, that will 
improve access to port terminals. The completion of 1-526 in 1992 
gave trucks another route serving the port's Wando Terminal. Port 



52 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



officials believe that this will resolve most terminal-related congestion 
on these bridges. Nevertheless, opening 1-526 might create other bot- 
tlenecks on local streets, and port officials say that correction for 
these may be ineligible for federal and state aid. Trucks serving the 
North Charleston and Columbus Street terminals must traverse city 
streets with heavy traffic. 

Road access to the Virginia ports in Hampton Roads is considered 
good; the main problem is that highways are congested during peak 
periods. Growth in the Tidewater area at the port and in the sur- 
rounding region is overtaxing the transportation system. For exam- 
ple, many of the routes serving the southern terminals at Hampton 
Roads traverse Suffolk, where traffic on the main downtown route 
has doubled during the past 15 years. Trucks constitute 60 percent of 
that traffic. 

The Delaware River ports, which include Philadelphia; Camden, 
New Jersey; and Wilmington, Delaware, are all close to Interstate 
highways. Except for Wilmington, they have good access. The two 
narrow roads serving the Port of Wilmington create traffic bot- 
tlenecks. They are also intersected by at-grade rail crossings that 
block road traffic when in use. 

Road access to the ports of New York and New Jersey and of 
Boston is generally not as good as it is elsewhere. Like most ports on 
the East Coast, freight movements for these ports depend more 
heavily on trucks than on rail. Most incoming containers roughly 
80 percent are destined for the local market. Similarly, most bulk 
commodities handled by the Port Authority of New York and New 
Jersey originate from or are destined to the greater New York City 
area. In Boston, the loss of three major transmission pipelines, which 
had to be closed because of their age and could not be replaced 
because of their cost and proximity to population, has resulted in a 
much larger share of total fuel oils handled by the port that must 
move by tanker truck. The area's aged infrastructure, combined with 
heavy traffic volumes, cannot convey this freight without high dray- 
age costs and considerable delay. The major interstate routes serving 
the Port of New York and New Jersey's facilities in Brooklyn and the 
Greenville area of Jersey City, for example, typically incorporate sub- 
standard design features: most were built before the Interstate pro- 
gram began, and they have narrow lanes and poor geometric design. 
In addition, traffic volumes are heavy. New York's Red Hook Termi- 
nal, in Brooklyn, may be seriously affected by the planned rehabilita- 



Physical Access 53 



tion of the Gowanas Freeway. This freeway is the major access route 
between the port and the rail terminals in New Jersey. During the 
8-year rehabilitation program, the already-congested facility must 
operate well below its capacity, and more congestion will increase 
drayage costs between Red Hook and its rail service. (The recent 
institution of a barge service from the Red Hook Marine Terminal to 
Port Newark, N.J., offers a valuable alternative for freight move- 
ments to and from Red Hook.) 

As roadway capacities are reached, ports can encourage the devel- 
opment of additional highway capacity, but in places such as New 
York and Boston such options are severely limited. Ports throughout 
the country are constrained by neighborhood opposition (discussed in 
Chapter 4) and by the lack of available rights-of-way. Only 40 per- 
cent of ports indicate the existence of undeveloped rights-of-way for 
new access routes (Table 3-1). 

Drawbridges also contribute to congestion at some ports. About 10 
percent of ports report that drawbridges in the area usually or always 
contribute to congestion, and 20 percent of the ports indicate that 
they sometimes contribute to congestion (Table 3-1). The problem 
appears to be more prevalent at container ports (Table 3-1). 

Problems with weight-restricted bridges are cited at only 13 percent 
of ports (Table 3-1). As discussed, however, bridge replacement or 
rehabilitation is expensive and funding difficult to obtain. In addi- 
tion, if a bridge is more than 50 years old, it must be evaluated for 
preservation under federal historic preservation guidelines. This pro- 
cess can be time-consuming and expensive. 

Design 

In the opinion of 87 percent of the respondents to the AAPA survey, 
the access roads are usually or always adequately designed to handle 
legal truck weights at most ports. Most of the respondents (80 per- 
cent) indicate that roadway intersection design to accommodate truck 
turning radii is usually or always adequate, but 15 percent report that 
turning radii are only sometimes adequate, and two respondents indi- 
cate that turning radii for routes serving their port terminals are 
rarely or never adequate (Table 3-1 ). 

Adverse consequences of obsolete design standards are noted by 
New York port officials with respect to turning radii, both for New 
Jersey Turnpike access ramps and railroad tracks at some New Jersey 



54 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



docks. The access ramps were designed for 35-ft trailers, but 40 ft is 
now the norm for seagoing containers. The railcars that carry them 
are long enough for two 40- or 48-ft containers set end to end. 

The adequacy of the current geometric design for marine con- 
tainers is a complex issue. A recent report examines various design 
features and how they affect and are affected by trailers and con- 
tainers of widths and lengths that are allowed by federal legisla- 
tion but that exceed the values assumed in the design of roadways 
built in the past (TRB 1989). As noted in the report, the Surface 
Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 required all states to permit 
trailer lengths of 48 ft, but many roadway features were built 
according to designs based on 40-ft semitrailers (TRB 1989, 128). 
Even the 1984 American Association of State Highway and Trans- 
portation Officials (AASHTO) design guide was essentially com- 
pleted before the 1982 legislation was enacted, and it continued to 
rely on design vehicles smaller than those permitted in the legisla- 
tion. AASHTO's revised design guide adds several design vehicles, 
including tractor-semitrailers with 48- and 53-ft trailers (AASHTO 
1990). 

Longer trailers and containers pose a specific problem for turning 
radii. At an intersection designed for 40-ft trailers, a driver in a cab 
pulling a 48-ft trailer must compensate for the offtracking of the rear 
wheels. For the truck to clear the intersection without the rear wheels' 
hitting the curb, the cab must swing wider than the track of the rear 
wheels, and this causes the cab to encroach on the adjacent lane. 

In evaluating the adequacy of current designs to handle longer 
vehicles such as 48- and 53-ft trailers, it should be kept in mind that 
few public highways are designed to fully accommodate the largest 
vehicles that will use them. For reasons of cost-effectiveness, 
AASHTO gears its design policies to the vehicles that commonly use 
the roads and tolerates some vehicle movements that exceed design 
values (TRB 1989, 131). Hence, whether design that is insufficient 
for some uses should be rectified depends on the tolerances assumed 
in the design, the extent of deviation from the design, and the cost- 
effectiveness of and available funds for correcting it. Although it is 
important that the designs of public infrastructure keep pace with the 
dimensions used for containers in international shipping, the costs of 
improving a facility-which are typically substantial must bear 
some relationship to the benefits of the improvements 



Physical Access 55 



Inadequate bridges of outdated design are especially prevalent in 
older, built-up cities. Various bridge problems on truck routes were 
noted in the site visit reports for Charleston, New York and New 
Jersey, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tacoma, and Toledo. Two bridges on a 
key route in Charleston are weight-restricted for trucks, one to 
70,000 Ib and the other to only 20,000 Ib. These limits prevent use 
by a great many trucks that are otherwise well within legal weight 
restrictions. 

In cases in which the existing design standards appear unsuited to a 
specific need, the granting of exceptions to design standards during 
new construction or major rebuilding is fairly common. For example, 
state highway departments frequently request and receive modifica- 
tions to design standards (including bridge width) from the Federal 
Highway Administration (FHWA) when they encounter problems 
(TRB 1987). Bridges built to modern standards (HS-20 and HS-15 
design vehicles) can handle properly loaded marine containers with- 
out overstressing the bridge members (TRB 1990, 95-97). But the 
federal bridge formula may restrict heavy cargo loads of containers 
hauled on short wheelbases. In some cases reducing the kingpin set- 
tings allows longer containers to be hauled without causing excessive 
offtracking, but the bridge formula imposes a penalty on the maxi- 
mum weight the container can hold when the distance between axle 
groups is reduced. Highway design engineers consider such factors as 
trailer length and gross vehicle weight when they design ramps and 
bridges, but the design would be altered only if there were sufficient 
volumes of heavy or oversized vehicles to impede traffic flow, create 
safety problems, or cause a facility to deteriorate prematurely. 

The difficulty highway engineers face in adjusting designs to the 
increased dimensions for trucks has its analogue on the water side. 
Increased ship width and height also imply changes in bridge design. 
However, the need for greater vertical clearance over water, rail lines, 
or other highways, or for more horizontal distance between bridge 
piers, will raise significant investment issues but not significant design 
issues. For example, officials at the Port of Houston noted that the 
standard bridge height for a new bridge would cause problems for the 
many oversized loads moved to the port by truck. Increasing the 
vertical distance from 16.5 to 30 ft, as requested by the port, how- 
ever, would have added $7 million to $8 million to the total cost. (In 
this case the Texas Department of Transportation agreed to raise the 
vertical clearance to 22 ft.) 



56 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Highway and bridge design standards have lagged behind the di- 
mensions of large trucks, but the standards in the revised design guide 
of AASHTO and the exceptions to design permitted by FHWA appear 
adequate for designing physical facilities for vehicles transporting 
marine containers. For roadway and bridge design to handle truck 
movements of containers, the issue appears to be one of funding and 
priority to replace outdated facilities, not one of inadequate design 
standards. 

Signing and Marking 

At most ports (63 percent), the truck routes serving the port terminals 
are believed to be usually or always clearly marked, but at 20 percent 
of the ports, the truck routes are only sometimes well marked and at 
13 percent they are rarely or never well marked (Table 3-1). The 
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has recommended 
substantial improvements in the directional signage for the many 
terminals in the Delaware River ports complex. Improved signage 
and detailed maps for truckers would reduce missed destinations and 
backtracking and would help keep trucks on designated truck routes 
as opposed to local and residential streets. 

Railway Access 
At-Grade Crossings 

Ports can try to reduce truck congestion on the highways that serve 
them by facilitating rail access, but often the problems with conges- 
tion are accentuated .by rail lines that intersect local streets with at- 
grade crossings. Two-thirds of the ports indicate that rail lines that 
serve the port must share at least some of their rights-of-way with a 
public street. Almost half of the ports (46 percent) report that they 
are served by rail lines with many local at-grade crossings (Table 3-1 ). 
This problem appears more prevalent at container ports than at other 
ports, perhaps because there is a higher proportion of container ports 
in major urbanized areas, but well over one-third of ports that con- 
centrate on bulk or neo-bulk commodities also report problems with 
frequent at-grade crossings. 

Rail-highway grade crossings were cited as a problem at some of 
the case-study ports. The rail lines into Seattle cross many streets at 



Physical Access 57 




At-grade crossing of a rail line with a port access route delays truck traffic 
serving the port. 

grade. Trains occasionally tie up traffic, but the tie-ups have not 
caused undue concern. Similar problems occur in Oakland, Rich- 
mond (California), Memphis, Chicago, Toledo, and Wilmington 
(Delaware). Longer trains and greater throughput in the future, how- 
ever, could increase traffic conflicts. Rail-highway grade crossing 
problems were cited in New Orleans and Los Angeles, but these cases 
appear to be due to relations between the ports and neighborhoods. 
In New Orleans, for example, there are a number of grade crossings 
on a Norfolk Southern line through a residential area. These grade 
crossings are said to be a factor in the neighborhood's resistance to 
the double-tracking of the line. The neighborhood, however, also 
opposes the construction of grade separation facilities. Similarly, the 
Port of Boston has deferred improving a spur rail line because of 
neighborhood opposition. 

Double-Stack Access 

It has become increasingly important for container ports to have 
service by double-stack trains (Chilcote 1988). The newest, most 



58 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



productive containers, which are 9 ft 6 in. high, are referred to as 
"high-cube" containers; they are becoming perceived as the industry 
standard. Almost half of the container ports (48 percent) have bridge 
or tunnel clearances adequate for them to be served by high-cube 
double-stack trains, but 36 percent report that they do not (Table 
3-1). 

Some ports may not receive double-stack service for economic as 
well as physical reasons. Although double-stack service is available 
within 20 to 30 mi of downtown Boston, the rail lines serving 
Boston's port have been reluctant to commit to double-stack ser- 
vice to the port's terminals because of the high cost of obtaining 
adequate clearances under highway bridges, the need to recon- 
struct railroad bridges to carry the heavier double stacks, and the 
relatively small volume of container shipments into and out of 
Boston. At other ports, however, double-stack service is in the 
offing. For service to Hampton Roads, for example, the Norfolk 
Southern Railroad is spending $4.6 million to improve tunnel 
clearances in West Virginia so that it can provide high-cube 
double-stack service to and from the Midwest. At the Port Author- 
ity of New York and New Jersey, Consolidated Rail Corporation 
(Conrail) announced in May 1991 that it would begin providing 
double-stack service from its railyard in Portside, New Jersey, to 
Chicago. Subsequently, in August 1991 that service was shifted to 
the Expressrail terminal, which is an on-dock facility. Double- 
stack service from the New York area to Philadelphia and from 
Philadelphia southward is not available. The cost of providing 
double-stack access into Philadelphia has been estimated to exceed 
$40 million. Conrail, one of the major railroads serving the Phila- 
delphia area, has focused its investments on New York and New 
Jersey. Canadian Pacific, however, is promoting double-stack ac- 
cess, and a major study is under way of the economic viability of 
double-stack service. The state has conditionally committed $40 
million to improving the rail system through Pennsylvania and the 
Philadelphia terminals to accommodate double-stack trains and is 
prepared to invest these funds if the ongoing study concludes that 
they are warranted. Although most of the issues of double-stack 
access occur on the East Coast, constraints on double-stack service 
to eastern ports is also a problem for the West Coast ports that 
serve East Coast markets and for land-bridge freight movements 
destined for Europe. 



Physical Access 59 



OPPORTUNITIES 

The DOT site visit reports and the AAPA survey indicate a host of 
potential access problems. Road access to many ports is good or 
adequate, but congestion is a growing problem. Will these already- 
congested routes be able to handle the increased cargo projected for 
the next three decades? Shifting more traffic onto the railroads may 
ease some problems, but many ports are served by rail lines that 
intersect many local streets at grade, which also results in congestion 
for motorists. In addition, because much of the international cargo 
entering the seaports is headed for the local area, particularly at East 
Coast ports, a substantial amount of truck traffic over local roads 
will always be necessary. Increased rail service, however, does appear 
to offer promise for the long run in reducing demands placed on the 
highway system. Many ports appear to have resolved their access 
problems to allow service by double-stack trains, but problems still 
exist at some East Coast ports and the resolution of at-grade rail 
highway crossings at many ports is required. 

Ports have identified a variety of strategies for solving their land- 
side access problems; they include developing dedicated freight corri- 
dors from the port terminals to major highways and railheads, relying 
more heavily on rail service on or near terminals to reduce the need 
for drayage, developing inland ports, and relying more on barge 
movements for shipping containers to other coastal cities or 
terminals. 



Dedicated Freight Corridors 

Of the 54 respondents to the AAPA survey, about one-fourth believed 
that practicable options exist for rail-truck corridors (Table 3-2). 
Among the dedicated freight corridors under consideration, the corri- 
dor being planned for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is the 
most ambitious (Hicks 1991). The San Pedro Bay ports are served by 
three railroads, each of which has many at-grade roadway crossings. 
The corridor would consolidate the rail service onto one line that 
would connect the ports to the major railheads serving the Los An- 
geles area. In addition, road access from the ports to major highways 
requires using facilities of inadequate design. Therefore, the proposed 
corridor would also develop a 24-mi parallel roadway that would be 



60 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE 3-2 Infrastructure Opportunities Identified in AAPA Survey 



Opportunity 


All Ports Container Ports All Other 

(n = 54) (n = 25) (n = 29) 


No. Percent No. Percent No. Percent 



Viable options for 

consolidated rail- 
truck corridors 13 24 6 24 7 24 
Viable inland ports 18 34 11 44 7 24 
Feasibility of 

increased barge 

use as solution to 

landside 

congestion 13 24 6 24 7 24 

Possibility of more 

efficient off-dock 

intermodal 

facilities than on- 

dock 

Yes 12 22 6 24 6 21 

No 20 37 10 40 10 34 

upgraded into a truck route. The 34 at-grade crossings would be 
separated or closed, and some segments of the corridor might be 
placed in trenches to reduce noise. At the time of this writing, the 
total cost is estimated at $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion. The ports of 
New York and New Jersey, New Orleans, and Boston also plan to 
upgrade truck routes or develop consolidated corridors. 

The corridor concept has much appeal. The traffic congestion 
caused by trucks and passenger vehicles sharing the same routes and 
intersections could be greatly reduced by building facilities (both 
highway and rail) dedicated to freight movements. The reduced con- 
gestion would also cut down the excess vehicular emissions that result 
from stop-and-go traffic. 

Corridors are expensive, however, as witnessed by the growing 
price tag of the Alameda Corridor in Los Angeles, whose initial $500 
million cost has more than tripled as the costs have escalated for 
offsetting adverse effects on the surrounding communities. Corridors 
also require a great deal of coordination among the various units of 
government involved. Where the funding will come from, who 
should pay for the improvements, and whether the benefits are com- 



Physical Access 61 



mensurate with the cost are all major issues. (Funding issues are 
discussed more in Chapter 7.) 



On- and Near-Terminal Rail Access 

The typical marine terminal has a rail line next to or within a mile of 
it. Recently there has been increased interest in having rail lines come 
nearer to even into the marine terminals to reduce the amount of 
drayage of containers between the ship and the rail cars. In concept, 
on- or near-terminal rail service can have different configurations. 
The rail lines can come onto the dock and thereby permit containers 
to be moved directly from ship to rail via gantry cranes (this design is 
not used in the United States). Or, the rail lines can be adjacent to 
container storage areas, which, in turn, are immediately adjacent to 
the cranes used to unload the ships (this is the approach used in the 
United States). 

With on- or near- terminal rail service, handling costs are reduced 
compared with having marine and rail terminals separated by several 
miles: drayage is greatly reduced and additional processing through 
gates is eliminated. These advantages are partly offset by other costs, 
most notably, from the port's perspective, the amount of land that is 
consumed (Ashar 1990). (Issues regarding land use are addressed in 
Chapter 4.) Additional costs for the railroads include the cost of 
separating domestic from international containers and the increased 
switching complexity caused in double-stack operations (Smith 
1989). 

Of the respondents to the AAPA survey, about 37 percent appear 
to believe that on-terminal rail service would expedite cargo flows 
more than the typical off-terminal facilities (Table 3-2). Although 
the net benefit of facilities on or near the terminal depends on the 
circumstances of individual ports, when the economics are favor- 
able, on- or near-terminal rail reduces demand on highways and 
thereby promises to reduce roadway congestion and air pollution. 



Inland Terminals 

Another way to improve port access would be to shift the bulk of 
container sorting to an inland terminal instead of having the inter- 



62 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



modal terminal at the port. About half of the container port respon- 
dents in the AAPA survey believe that inland terminals would work 
(Table 3-2). Many container ports now have either on- or near- 
terminal rail facilities that allow containerized cargo to be moved 
off the container ship and onto a rail car with a minimum of dray- 
age. Trains comprising these rail cars could take the containers to a 
separate inland rail terminal, perhaps many miles inland, at which 
the containers would be sorted for local, regional, and national 
markets. These facilities would require an initial inland movement 
by rail, but transfers to trucks would still be required to transport 
containers destined for local or regional delivery because of the 
dispersed locations of the firms receiving or generating them. If such 
inland terminals were located away from urban streets and high- 
ways, however, their truck traffic would contribute less to urban 
congestion and air pollution. 

These inland facilities would also help reduce the trucking of 
domestic containers destined for the periphery of a metropolitan 
area. Domestic containers move from inland in the United States to 
the railheads at or near port terminals, often at low rates to avoid 
empty backhauls. Once at the terminal, these containers are sorted 
for local markets and then trucked back through the city to their 
ultimate destination. Although an inland terminal would increase 
the amount of handling, as congestion continues to grow in and 
around major urban centers, the benefits of reduced dray age 
through these congested areas could offset this cost in some 
markets. 

The inland terminal developed by the ports of Virginia and Nor- 
folk Southern Railroad at Front Royal, Virginia (about 175 mi 
inland from Hampton Roads), though developed to compete with 
ports to the north, illustrates the concept. Double-stack service 
moves the containers directly to and from the Hampton Roads area 
to an inland terminal at which they are staged for movement to and 
from the Midwest. The Front Royal Terminal is still nascent, but it 
offers a useful test case for the inland terminal concept. If it works, 
it may offer a partial solution to access and congestion problems 
faced by many urban ports; however, there is still the problem of at- 
grade rail crossings of roads and highways in the surrounding areas. 
Because long trains using these rail lines can also tie up highway 
traffic, the success of on- or near-terminal rail service and inland 



Physical Access 63 



terminals may depend in part on the ability to reduce at-grade 
conflicts. 



Barge and Intercoastal Shipment of Containers 

Yet another concept worthy of consideration is greater reliance on 
barge shipments to and from major ports and other coastal cities. 
Rather than have containers drayed from a major port area such as 
Hampton Roads to another major coastal city, it would be possible 
to move them by barge. Some barge movements on containers al- 
ready occur on the East Coast between Boston and New York, New 
York and Baltimore, and Baltimore and Hampton Roads. About 
one-fourth of respondents to the AAPA survey think that relying 
more heavily on barge shipments would help reduce landside con- 
gestion (Table 3-2). 

Barge movements may also offer some advantages at some spe- 
cific locations, such as between New York's Red Hook Terminal in 
Brooklyn and rail terminals in New Jersey. Increased barge ship- 
ments could also reduce some truck traffic and air pollution. In 
New York's case, it would help reduce truck operations on already 
heavily congested roads serving Red Hook Terminal and provide 
some relief during the rehabilitation of a major expressway that 
links Red Hook Terminal with New Jersey. Similarly, the Port of 
Sacramento has proposed a heavier reliance on barge transportation 
between its terminals and those of the ports of Oakland and San 
Francisco. The idea is to have containers shuttled on barge for the 
79 mi from Sacramento to the bay. This would reduce the conges- 
tion on Interstate 80, the number of trucks using the bay bridges, 
and vehicle emissions. Although only in the conceptual stage, this 
proposal is supported by the California Department of Transporta- 
tion and many major motor carriers and may ultimately prove to be 
a cost-effective solution to congestion and air-quality problems in 
the Bay Area. 

The general demise of shipping along the U.S. coastline in recent 
years has weakened domestic shipping between major cities on the 
same coast that are too distant to rely on barges. For example, marine 
transportation of domestic trade between New York and Miami is 
made difficult by federal prohibitions on shipments of domestic goods 



64 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



in ships built outside the United States and by the high cost of acquiring 
and operating U.S. -built ships that would not fall under these prohibi- 
tions. The loss of subsidies for ship construction has virtually ended the 
manufacture of commercial container ships in the United States. A 
recent study by the Transportation Research Board notes the many 
problems in marine container shipping associated with federal policies 
and calls for a major reevaluation of federal policies governing the 
merchant marine and maritime industries (TRB 1992). 



Summary 

Some ideas for responding to port access problems are not conven- 
tional highway projects, but they could be funded in part from the 
Highway Trust Fund. Ports are already pursuing a variety of strate- 
gies for resolving their access problems: 

Dedicated freight corridors between terminals and major rail and 
highway connections are being planned by several major ports; these 
corridors could divert truck traffic from local streets and thereby 
reduce congestion and neighborhood opposition; 

More use of on- or near-terminal rail service could also reduce 
truck traffic on local streets; 

The development of intermodal terminals many miles inland 
from the waterfront could also divert through truck traffic from con- 
gested urban highways; and 

Greater reliance on barge or intercoastal vessel shipments could 
reduce truck traffic between some marine terminals and other coastal 
cities. 

The success of the first three of these efforts will depend in part on 
reducing the congestion caused by at-grade rail-highway crossings. Al- 
though the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) 
does not mention these issues explicitly, it clearly encourages greater 
reliance on the existing intermodal transportation system for the move- 
ment of people and freight. The ISTEA also encourages more reliance 
on toll facilities and is much more permissive in the uses of toll revenues 
than previous legislation. Use of such revenues to develop intermodal 
facilities such as barge terminals could help reduce truck traffic on 
already-congested roadways. The committee recommends thatFHWA 



Physical Access 65 



recognize the spirit of intermodalism and flexibility for states in the 
ISTEA in approving project proposals such as those listed. 



REFERENCES 

ABBREVIATIONS 

AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation 

Officials 

TAMS TAMS Consultants, Inc. 
TRB Transportation Research Board 

TTI Texas Transportation Institute 

AASHTO. 1990. Guide for the Design of Pavement Structures. Washington, 
D.C. 

Ashar, A. 1990. On-Off Terminal Vessel-to-Rail Intermodal Transfer and the 
Case of Long Beach Port. Maritime Policy and Management, Vol. 17, No. 4, 
pp. 235-247. 

Chilcote, P. 1988. The Containerization Story: Meeting the Competition in 
Trade. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor 
and Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 125-146. 

Hicks, G. 1991. The Alameda Corridor: Meeting the Challenge of Port Growth. 
Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 230-239. 

Smith, D. 1989. Port Planning for Intermodal Growth. Journal of the Transpor- 
tation Research Forum, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 393-402. 

TAMS. 1985. Ports and Transportation Systems Study for the Ports of Washing- 
ton State. 

TRB. 1987. Special Report 214: Designing Safer Roads: Practices for Resurfac- 
ing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation. National Research Council, Washington, 
D.C. 

TRB. 1989. Special Report 223: Providing Access for Large Trucks. National 
Research Council, Washington, D.C. 

TRB. 1990. Special Report 225: Truck Weight Limits: Issues and Options, Na- 
tional Research Council, Washington, D.C. 

TRB. 1992. Special Report 236: Intermodal Marine Container Transportation: 
Impediments and Opportunities. National Research Council, Washington, 
D.C. 

TTI. 1990. Roadway Congestion in Major Urbanized Areas 1982 to 1988. 
Texas Transportation Institute Report 1131-3. College Station. 



4 



Land Use 



The waterfront land of cities on navigable waterways may be the 
cities' most valuable physical assets, and for many cities they 
have been fundamental to urban renewal. Many cities have 
redeveloped their waterfronts with parks, stores, hotels, and condo- 
miniums. As a result, ports are experiencing more competition for 
waterfront land, port access roads have become more congested by 
the cars of tourists and shoppers, and old and new neighbors are 
attempting to restrict the noise and rail and truck traffic generated by 
ports. Some opportunities can be used to keep these developments 
from restricting port access in the future. The Intermodal Surface 
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) allows for the preservation of 
rights-of-way along transportation corridors; some states and munici- 
palities are actively protecting maritime uses through protective zon- 
ing; congestion management techniques can be used to keep traffic 
from clogging port access routes; and ports can work more actively 
with local and neighborhood groups to resolve their differences. 

IMPEDIMENTS 
Rising Land Values 
Background 

Baltimore's Inner Harbor revitalization is a notable example of the 
effort to attract commercial investment to urban waterfronts, but it is 

66 



Land Use 67 



only part of a much larger trend. Residential and nonmaritime com- 
mercial development has been occurring along nearly every urban 
shoreline. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, New Or- 
leans, Portland (Oregon), Detroit, and Milwaukee have transformed 
their waterfronts (Mayer 1988). In other cities, such as Seattle, the 
natural and scenic advantages of waterfront development have led 
developers to compete with the port for scarce land without as much 
deliberate city involvement but with some effort by the city to protect 
maritime uses. 

Ports depend on their access to water to conduct a vital business, 
but the public wants to be near the water for other reasons: "It is a 
source of renewal and refreshment adjacent to the busy urban grid. It 
provides visual release from the tension caused by dense urban im- 
ages. It offers exotic experiences that are aesthetic, educational, and 
dramatic . . ." (Hershman 1988). People will pay a premium to be near 
the water, which increases the value of waterfront land. Just as most 
central business districts have become dominated by office towers 
because they have the highest earning potential per acre of any form 
of development waterfront land will be sought by developers who 
can offer the "highest and best use" by developing office towers, 
condominiums, or hotels (Goodwin 1988). Pressure on local land use 
decision-making bodies from developers is intense, and the argument 
that land use decisions are governed by the marketplace, though 
rarely accepted completely by land use planners, usually outweighs 
other considerations in the land use decisions of most communities. 

As a result of gentrification, the increased value of land that could 
be used for port-related activities can be out of the reach of ports as 
well as some of their users, such as the trucking firms that serve port 
terminals. For 74 percent of the ports in the American Association of 
Port Authorities (AAPA) survey, competition for the available land 
has increased in recent years (Table 4-1). The problem appears to be 
most prevalent among container ports, apparently because most of 
them are surrounded by more intensely developed urbanized areas 
(Table 4-1). Growing land values and the competition for scarce land 
have restricted the development of landside access improvements at 
31 percent of all ports and at 44 percent of container ports (Table 
4-1). 

Goodwin (1988) describes the issue of waterfront development as a 
choice between alternative views of the urban waterfront. In one 
view held by property owners, developers, and some city economic 



68 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE 4-1 Land Use Impediments Identified in AAPA Survey 



Impediment 


All Ports 

(n = 54) 


Container Ports 
(n = 25) 


All Other 

(K = 29) 


No. Percent 


No. Percent 


No. Percent 



Increased 

competition for 

land 40 74 21 84 19 66 

Restricted access 

improvements due 

to increased 

competition 17 31 11 44 6 21 

development officials the waterfront is seen as an extension of the 
central business district. The traditional maritime industries and 
some coastal-zone management proponents hold the second view, 
that the waterfront is seen as a "unique district where activities and 
amenities derive from the contiguity to navigable water" (Goodwin 
1988,290). 

Land use decisions are largely the domain of local governments, 
but comparatively few natural harbors (or waterfront areas that can 
be developed into harbors) are suitable for oceangoing vessels. The 
United States, its economy so dependent on imports and exports, can 
scarcely afford to let nonmaritime development pressures completely 
dominate the future of harbor waterfronts. Some ports, such as New 
Orleans, Philadelphia, Tacoma, and San Diego, have ample land for 
expansion, but, given competing demands and rising land values 
around other major ports, will there be enough for the long run? 

Examples 

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma handle most of the container traffic 
in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle's port is in a constricted area of the 
city with limited room to expand. The port depends on container 
staging and storage areas, at which containers are stored temporarily, 
loaded, or unloaded. These areas require a good deal of land, and 
port officials fear that encroaching commercial and residential devel- 
opment will drive up land values and force these areas to move far- 
ther from the port, which would increase drayage costs. 

In California the Port of Oakland has had internal problems with 
land development; for example, the city, which owns the port, 



Land Use 69 



promoted the commercial development of land owned by the port. 
Although the port has been active in redeveloping Jack London 
Square, it has resisted some of the city's efforts for fear that they 
would undermine the port's long-term competitive edge (Journal of 
Commerce 1988). However, according to port officials, the current 
commercial development next to the Port of Oakland, as well as the 
recreational uses resulting from a nearby marina, do not greatly 
disturb port operations. Competing demands have occurred at the 
Port of San Francisco as well, where the port's land holdings have 
been viewed by some local officials as far more valuable than the 
port itself (Gilliam 1980). Shipping in San Francisco has diminished 
while tourism and commercial and residential development have 
increased. A $3 billion, 20-yr residential and mixed use develop- 
ment occurring adjacent to the port will clearly affect its operations. 
The only rail line serving the port runs through the land to be 
developed. 

At the Port of Richmond (California), which handles liquid bulk 
cargoes, a 5,000-unit residential development has grown up within a 
quarter-mile of the port in an area formerly zoned for industrial uses. 
The port lost a lucrative opportunity to develop a cement terminal 
and lost use of a liquid bulk terminal because of resident opposition. 
The continued development of residential areas near potentially haz- 
ardous refineries and liquid bulk facilities implies growing constraints 
on the port's operations. 

A theme park proposed by the Walt Disney Company alongside the 
Port of Long Beach also raised a controversy over commercial devel- 
opment that might have affected the port. The city supported the 
economic benefits of the park, but a successful theme park may have 
clogged the access routes to the port. 

On the Gulf Coast, in contrast, the Port of New Orleans, which 
has undeveloped land that it could use for bulk terminal operations, 
has been an active partner in developing port waterfront land that no 
longer has maritime uses. Port officials hope that the revenues from 
these developments will support other maritime initiatives (Knack 
1991; Journal of Commerce 1988). At the Port of Galveston, how- 
ever, residential and commercial areas back up to port property. Port 
officials express some concern over a major waterfront development 
project in close proximity to the port's container terminal. 

Ports serving cities in the Northeast face considerable land use 
problems. Boston's Harbor Hotel, World Trade Center, and Charles- 



70 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



town Navy Yard have been boons for the city's coffers, but truckers 
serving Boston's port complain about the heavily congested roads that 
are due in part to increased tourist traffic. They also complain that 
high land costs make it harder to find space for truck operations, 
particularly parking (Journal of Commerce 1988). 

At the Port of New York and New Jersey, competing land uses and 
rising land costs, combined with changes in transportation logistics, 
have long been forcing changes in port activities. The many finger 
piers along the shores of Manhattan, Long Island, and Staten Island 
have been rendered obsolete, and some have become prime sites for 
urban waterfront restaurants and proposed developments (Wagner 
1980; Moss 1980). The port still has a main terminal in Brooklyn 
(Red Hook), where considerable conflict occurs along the Brooklyn 
waterfront between maritime and other commercial interests. The 
Port of New York and New Jersey has other terminals in New Jersey: 
the Port Authority Marine Terminal in Elizabeth, Port Newark, and 
the Global Marine Terminal in Jersey City, which is owned by a 
private terminal operator. These terminals are surrounded by wet- 
lands, and alternative land is expensive. Nonetheless, the port owns 
adjacent land that could be used for container marshaling if on-dock 
facilities were built. Even on the New Jersey side, where land is less 
expensive than it is in New York City, rising land values are affecting 
the warehousing industry. According to a report of the Port Authority 
of New York and New Jersey (undated), as land values escalate 
around the port's terminals, warehousing operations move farther 
away, thereby increasing the cost of drayage and making service to 
the greater metropolitan region from competitive ports more 
attractive. 

Although many ports in urbanized areas are concerned about en- 
croaching development, some ports report few problems. In contrast 
to the problems at New York and New Jersey and Boston, for exam- 
ple, the Port of Philadelphia has plenty of land for future develop- 
ment. Philadelphia may also have a unique advantage; it has 
legislative authority to veto zoning changes approved by the city of 
Philadelphia that the port authority concludes are not in the interest 
of the port. The ports of Memphis and Chicago also have ample land. 
Because of the declining seagoing trade serving the Great Lakes, Chi- 
cago's port is actively promoting nonmaritime uses of its land. Mem- 
phis, in contrast, will sell its land only to industries that need access 
to the riverfront. 



Land Use 71 



Problems of Land Use Planning and Implementation 

Many port officials have problems apart from rising land values: 
they may discover that a road serving the port becomes congested 
because development is permitted along its access road. The in- 
creased traffic adds to travel times and costs for trucks serving the 
port, which ultimately leads to higher transportation costs. From 
the ports' perspective an incompatible land use has been permitted 
that increases their costs; in the highly competitive port industry, 
this can mean lost commerce for the port and lost tax revenues for 
the community. 

Deciding whether more stringent land use controls could avoid 
such problems requires some background on the tools available for 
implementing land use plans. The two distinct tools for carrying out 
land use plans in the context of port access are zoning and transporta- 
tion planning. 

Zoning 

Land use plans guide the development of land in a county or munici- 
pality; zoning applies to specific parcels. Plans are usually considered 
advisory; zoning decisions are binding, although they can be and 
often are appealed in court (Kelly 1988). 

Zoning is the basic tool for implementing a land use plan; it regu- 
lates the land uses permitted within zones. Such uses might include 
the types of activity, density of development, and sizes of buildings. 
Most municipal zoning laws rely on four kinds of zone: residential, 
commercial, industrial, and agricultural. Some zoning laws and prac- 
tices allow mixed uses, but they restrict them in the following ways: 
residential development is allowed in commercial and industrial 
zones, but commercial or industrial development is not permitted in 
residential zones. Commercial development is allowed in industrial 
zones, but not vice versa. Hence, in zoning systems of this type, 
developing a commercial property that would compete with a port 
for available roadway capacity could not be prohibited. In addition, 
requests for rezoning are the most frequent zoning action considered 
by zoning boards; the next most frequent request is for variances 
(Kelly 1988, 257-259). In these appeals, the concerns of landowners 
and developers are considered carefully and, because of the latitude 
of most zoning laws, granted frequently. 



72 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Operating within legal precedent and within the context of local 
government, zoning as it has traditionally been practiced can guide, 
but not prescribe, development. "No matter how good or how effec- 
tive the zoning of a particular community may be, landowners, devel- 
opers, and individual citizens still make a variety of decisions that 
heavily influence, if not determine, the final land uses of the commu- 
nity" (Kelly 1988, 283). When specific interests are brought to bear 
on a zoning commission, which might include the landowner's desire 
to maximize land value, the developer's aim for the most profitable 
venture, the local government's support for investments that expand 
the tax base, and the consumers' interest in certain kinds of develop- 
ment, the potentially negative impact of increased traffic congestion 
has not always loomed large. (Recent municipal elections in some 
cities, however, have revealed the influence of neighborhood groups 
whose frustration with incumbents was driven partly by complaints 
about traffic congestion.) Whereas land use plans are designed to 
minimize the adverse social effects of development, zoning deals with 
specific parcels, and the focus of zoning variances on specific cases is 
often criticized fairly for failing to consider the broader implications 
that are often part of the general plan (Jackson 1981). 

Transportation Planning 

The provision of transportation facilities also directly affects land use 
decisions. However, land use and transportation plans have rarely 
been well coordinated, largely because the relationship between the 
two is complex and changing. 

Two factors contribute to the complexity of the land use-transporta- 
tion equation. First, the relationship between transportation and land 
use is reciprocal: land use patterns affect travel decisions, and travel 
decisions affect land use patterns perhaps simultaneously, perhaps 
sequentially. Second, the activity patterns of business and families 
change, independently of land use and transportation, in response to 
changing values, norms, and preferences. (Rosenbloom 1988, 140) 

At the metropolitan level, then, it has long been difficult to link land 
use and transportation plans because land development spawns unan- 
ticipated demands on the transportation system and the provision of 
major transportation corridors spawns unanticipated demands on 
land use. At the level of individual developments or minor roads, it 



Land Use 73 



has long been difficult for local communities to resist site develop- 
ments that promise additional growth, even when the local officials 
are aware that the new development may congest the routes serving 
it. 

With the recent constraints on public budgets, transportation plan- 
ners have minimized the need for public investment by relying more 
heavily on transportation system management (TSM) techniques 
and, in some states, by requiring greater private investment in trans- 
portation facilities when the site development may increase traffic 
congestion. TSM includes a wide variety of techniques such as pro- 
moting vanpools and designating high-occupancy vehicle lanes in ma- 
jor corridors. Efforts to require greater private investment are used 
less but growing in popularity with local governments. States such as 
Florida and California, for example, permit local governments to 
require private developers to pay impact fees to fund the added trans- 
portation facilities needed to serve their developments (Rosenbloom 
1988; Nelson 1988). 

Public acquisition of land to keep it from being developed is an- 
other option, but an expensive one. Opportunities for land banking 
and corridor preservation are reviewed later in this chapter. 

Examples 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) study team found an 
example in which development added congestion to an access road in 
Galveston. After much effort and consensus building among the 
Chamber of Commerce, Galveston citizens, the county, and the state, 
a new access road, Port Industrial Boulevard, was built to serve the 
port and to keep truck traffic out of residential areas. Since then, a 
new medical trauma center has been built that depends on the road, 
and the route has become popular with employees at firms on Gal- 
veston Island. Although the road benefits these users, their increased 
use of it is causing congestion. Another example of development on a 
port access road occurred in New Jersey, where the successful devel- 
opment of a major discount outlet was permitted on a site next to the 
Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal. The greatly increased au- 
tomobile traffic on the route serving the port caused access problems 
for trucks going to and from the terminal. Similarly, the proposal to 
develop a theme park alongside the Port of Long Beach, though 
ultimately abandoned, could have increased traffic congestion. 



74 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U .S. PORTS 



Neighborhood-Port Conflicts 
Background 

Many urban ports abut residential areas, and the interests of the ports 
often conflict with those of its neighbors because the land uses are 
incompatible. Landside access issues bring this friction to the fore 
because the ports' needs for moving cargo can increase truck and 
railroad traffic, noise, dust, odors, and congestion, which the neigh- 
borhood resists. Efforts to reduce traffic conflicts by extending the 
ports' hours of operation (to avoid peak-hour commuting traffic) can 
also meet with neighborhood resistance. 

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in preserving urban and 
historic neighborhoods, but the value and importance of neighbor- 
hoods has long been realized: 

Throughout this century, the neighborhood has been a major focus of 
attention among those concerned with urban affairs. This focus on 
neighborhoods stems from the belief that they represent the building 
blocks of the city. The health of a city is largely dependent on the 
vitality of its individual neighborhoods, and the physical and social 
conditions in neighborhoods to a large extent define the quality of life 
for urban residents. They affect individual decisions to stay or to seek 
more desirable living conditions in suburban or rural locations. Those 
decisions, in turn, affect the local tax base and the overall viability of 
urban areas. (Rohe and Gates 1985) 

Concern about preserving neighborhoods has been accompanied 
by growing involvement of neighborhood groups and residents in 
local planning and in local politics (Rohe and Gates 1985). Many 
cities have established formal and informal programs for working 
directly with neighborhood groups and integrating their concerns 
into planning and decision making. Neighborhood concerns, how- 
ever, can restrict the options available to seaports, because neighbor- 
hood groups often resist transportation projects that result in the 
relocation of families or elevation of noise and congestion. 

The Century Freeway project in Los Angeles is admittedly an ex- 
treme example of the ability of neighborhoods to delay a project and 
force concessions, but it is still useful as a cautionary tale of the 
potential consequences of ignoring neighborhood concerns (Kagan 
1990, 133-135). The 17-mi project envisioned in 1968 to link the 



Land Use 75 




Allowing residential areas to develop close to port complexes often results in 
neighborhood efforts to reduce the traffic, noise, and dust stirred up by port 
activities. 



Los Angeles International Airport with communities to the east was 
delayed for the first time in 1972, partly as the result of a lawsuit filed 
by a community at the behest of an active neighborhood group. The 
project, initially estimated to cost $500 million, has ballooned to 
more than $2 billion and is still unfinished more than 20 years after it 
began. Costs added because of neighborhood and community pres- 
sure include a light rail line, sound walls, and 3,700 housing units to 
replace the 6,000 units taken in the development of the highway. 

Successful port landside projects have gone forward, however, even 
in the greater Los Angeles area for example, the construction of the 
150-acre Southern Pacific Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, 
which serves the San Pedro Bay ports. This project succeeded for 
several unique reasons: (a) the Port of Los Angeles had owned the site 
since the 1920s, (b) the Southern Pacific Railroad had a rail line 
leading to the site, and (c) a lightly used 4.5-mi freeway, built by the 
federal government for the military in the 1930s, already connected 
the Port of Long Beach to the site (Kagan 1990, 138). The project 



76 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



was also boosted by Congressman Glenn Anderson, then the chair- 
man of the powerful House Public Works Committee, and it did 
not initially meet significant opposition from the communities and 
neighborhoods along the way (Kagan 1990, 140). When the city of 
Carson did begin to oppose the project, the ports and Southern 
Pacific agreed to fund additional improvements and sound barriers at 
an initial extra cost of $5 million. By acting quickly, making conces- 
sions, and paying for specific improvements to mitigate community 
opposition, port officials were able to keep the project from becom- 
ing sidetracked. 

The problems that ports encounter with neighborhoods and resi- 
dents are usually of a smaller scale than the Century Freeway, but 
they can still be difficult and expensive to resolve. For example, a 
low-income neighborhood of about 475 homes is next to the Port of 
Stockton. One access road serving the port, which a substantial share 
of the truck traffic serving the port uses, passes through the middle of 
this neighborhood. Improving the existing access route, however, 
would require relocating many families. Although expensive, this 
strategy has been used successfully for an entire neighborhood that 
agreed to be relocated to make way for an expressway interchange 
(Rohe and Mouw 1991). But when the news leaked that the Stockton 
port was considering acquiring the property and relocating the resi- 
dents, it generated strong resistance from the neighborhood and from 
city and county elected officials. Attention has now been focused on 
improving an alternative but more circuitous route that would bypass 
the neighborhood. 

Examples 

Neighborhood issues are not new to most urban ports. In the 1970s 
Seattle's port found that affluent neighborhoods could resist its efforts 
to expand a terminal into a larger-scale operation (Hershman 1988, 
5). Efforts to resolve the Port of Pensacola's landside access problems 
and to expand the port have long been stymied by the opposition of 
an adjacent historic district (Alexander et al. 1980). The DOT site 
visit reports indicate that neighborhood issues are likely to become 
problems as seaports address landside access issues. For the San 
Pedro Bay ports, for example, plans to designate a truck route as part 
of a transportation corridor may depend on upgrading Alameda 
Street to a state route so that it qualifies for state and federal funding, 



Land Use 77 



but this may be resisted by the neighborhoods surrounding the pro- 
posed corridor. Boston's port has been reluctant to push for the im- 
provement of the spur rail lines serving the port because port officials 
know it would bring neighborhood opposition. Neighborhood in- 
volvement in planning and fighting redevelopment plans has a 
long history in the city (Donaher et al. 1980). Boston's terminals are 
next to neighborhoods that are unhappy about the amount of truck 
traffic on local streets; the lack of an alternative truck route has 
caused tensions between the port and its surrounding neighborhoods. 

The Port of Sacramento currently has an unresolved conflict with 
an adjacent community. The railroad tracks entering the port area 
from the north traverse a residential area with many grade crossings. 
The residents, concerned about the risks from an accident involving 
hazardous materials, have begun pressuring the city to restrict traffic 
and relocate the tracks. The city has responded by restricting devel- 
opment of rail users in the port area and by initiating a study to 
determine whether the tracks can be relocated. The city's restrictions 
on development are delaying more than $15 million in industrial 
development in the port area. 

Port operations are often affected by incompatible land uses when 
residential areas adjoin port property. Dust stirred up by loading 
commodities such as coal, petroleum coke, and gypsum and the 
odors from some liquid bulk products were cited as sources of neigh- 
borhood complaints at several major bulk ports. Responding to these 
kinds of problems costs ports money. The Port of Long Beach, for 
example, has invested in expanding its petroleum coke handling area 
in order to store more of the commodity under cover to minimize 
dust. Sometimes the costs are in restricted options or lost oppor- 
tunities. As mentioned, the Port of Stockton lost opportunities be- 
cause of neighborhood opposition. The Port of New York and New 
Jersey gave up handling anthracite coal from Pennsylvania because 
the cost of covering the commodity would not be recouped. Balti- 
more cannot handle some dry bulk commodities at its terminals that 
border on residential areas. Many other examples can be cited. 



OPPORTUNITIES 

Rising land values for waterfront land, increased congestion on port 
access routes due to inadequate controls on inland development, and 



78 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



neighborhood opposition to increased port operations reduce the 
ability of port officials to resolve landside bottlenecks. Moreover, 
control over these issues resides at the local level, where local interests 
often predominate. Local development pressures for waterfront land 
are intense for the "highest and best use," which may result in the 
development of condominiums at the expense of container staging 
areas; zoning (as traditionally practiced) to inhibit inland develop- 
ment along access routes is an imperfect tool for regulating land use. 
Moreover, land use planning and zoning are the prerogative of local 
government, which state and federal authorities have rarely overrid- 
den. Despite these difficulties, port officials have opportunities to 
influence local decision making to protect port and maritime 
interests. 



Land Banking and Corridor Preservation 

Over the years many ports (or other public authorities) have bought 
sites when land uses by other maritime tenants were no longer eco- 
nomic. Some of the sites have been redeveloped for nonmaritime 
uses; others have been reserved for port terminals and the like. Bos- 
ton and New Orleans, among other ports, have used the commercial 
developments to cross-subsidize maritime-related projects. Goodwin 
(1988) considers fee-simple land purchase the best approach to bank- 
ing land for marine use, but the cost of the land and the availability of 
funds are major considerations. An alternative to paying the full price 
for the land is to buy the development rights (the difference between 
the cost of the land at its current use and at its highest and best use), 
but this approach is still expensive. One way local governments can 
minimize the immediate budget consequences of such purchases is to 
pay landowners in increments over several years. 

Abandoned rail corridors are prime candidates to be bought and 
reserved for future transportation use. It is important to preserve the 
corridor as well as rights-of-way along highways that may need wid- 
ening in the future. Preserving the rights-of-way can be greatly aided 
if state highway agencies are given the right to acquire the land and 
restrict its development. Land for corridors and rights-of-way can be 
preserved through official maps and subdivision regulations, but pro- 
grams must be designed carefully: the rights of landowners as defined 
in many legal precedents must be considered. Such programs also 



Land Use 79 



require state-enabling legislation and careful administration to avoid 
legal challenges. Kolis and Mandelker (1987) outline the basic ap- 
proaches for a model program that would withstand legal challenges. 
Although ports that are already surrounded by an intensely developed 
urban environment may have little opportunity to preserve corridors, 
opportunities still exist to preserve land for future transportation 
needs at smaller ports and at possible sites for future inland terminals 
and the corridors to serve them. 

The 1991 ISTEA makes specific provision for right-of-way acquisi- 
tion (Section 1017) and calls on the Secretary of Transportation to 
report to Congress in 1993 on potential corridors identified for pres- 
ervation (Section 1018). The act provides that state expenses for 
right-of-way purchased before a project is approved for federal fund- 
ing will be reimbursed once a project is approved for federal funding, 
if the state follows specific guidelines and adheres to federal law on 
acquisition and relocation. 

The ISTEA indicates the national concern for corridor preservation 
by requiring the Secretary to report on an inventory of candidates for 
preservation that are to be identified by metropolitan planning organi- 
zations (MPOs) and the states. As outlined in Sections 1024(f) and 
1025(c), the MPOs and the states are to develop transportation plans 
that include several provisions important to port access: "access to 
ports" and "major freight distribution routes." The act also requires 
"preservation of rights-of-way for construction of future transportation 
projects, including identification of unused rights-of-way which may be 
needed for future transportation corridors and identification of those 
corridors for which action is most needed to prevent destruction or 
loss." [Section 1024(f)(7) and (10) relates to planning by MPOs, and 
Section 1025(c)(4) and (17) contains similar language for states. See 
also Section 3012(f)(7,8, 10,11).] The committee recommends that 
MPOs encourage preservation of right-of-way, potential transportation 
corridors, and waterfront land in their long-range planning. 



Protective Zoning 

Land uses can also be restricted through special zoning. In Massa- 
chusetts, for example, commonwealth law specifies waterfront land 
uses to be protected for industrial maritime uses and recreational 
uses, and it restricts uses of areas that are of specific environmental 



80 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



concern (MASS. GEN. LAWS. Chapter 91). The primary tool for en- 
forcement is the Waterways Licensing Program, which was formally 
established in 1866 but dates to the colonial period. The program is 
currently administered through the Massachusetts Department of En- 
vironmental Protection, which has the authority to license activities 
on tidal lands that would affect the environment, and its provisions 
are incorporated into the commonwealth's Coastal Zone Manage- 
ment Plan. 

The plan, based on language in Chapter 91, designates 12 port 
areas in the state that have the following characteristics: 

Navigable channels 20 ft deep or more at mean low water, 

Tidelands and associated lands abutting such channels that are 
suited to accommodate maritime-dependent industrial uses, 

Availability of well-developed road and rail links leading to ma- 
jor truck and arterial routes, and 

Availability of water and sewer services capable of supporting 
maritime-dependent industrial uses. 

This designation ensures that areas of special physical and operational 
requirements dependent on access to navigable channels are not im- 
paired by other development. To regulate the land uses, municipalities 
must enact complementary zoning ordinances. The city of Boston, for 
example, has a Municipal Harbor Plan; it was amended in 1989 to 
create a maritime economy reserve (MER) district with provisions that 
expand on the statewide policy (City of Boston 1990). Specifically, the 
MERs are restricted to industrial maritime activity; the strength of 
these regulations is made obvious by the lack of variances permitted. 
The zoning regulations allow only specific maritime land uses within 
the MERs, but they also provide for other maritime uses within the 
designated port areas that are less restricted. These other maritime uses 
include such activities as marinas and recreational boat repair facilities. 
Such zoning reduces the ability of developers to pursue nonmaritime 
land uses. The committee recommends that states, coastal zone man- 
agement agencies, and local governments develop similar zoning regu- 
lations and ordinances where appropriate. 

Congestion Management 

Some transportation planning techniques can be used to mitigate the 
increased traffic congestion that results when development occurs 



Land Use 81 



adjacent to port terminals or along access roads (Rosenbloom 1988). 
A variety of traffic engineering changes can be made to individual 
corridors that become congested. Traffic throughput can be increased 
by such procedures as designating one-way streets, imposing turn 
restrictions, widening the street to add extra lanes, and better coor- 
dinating traffic signals. Efforts can also be made to reduce auto- 
mobile traffic by encouraging van- and carpools and by improving 
transit schedules and routes. 

Besides applying a wide variety of traffic management techniques, 
and as a means to fund them, greater private investment can be 
required in exchange for permitting development. Since the 1970s 
many municipalities have begun imposing impact fees on develop- 
ment projects that make new demands on public infrastructure and 
schools (Draper 1988; Nelson 1988). The example of Manatee 
County, Florida, is instructive: since the mid-1980s, new develop- 
ment in the county must pay for additional roadway capacity caused 
by increased traffic generated by the project in order to maintain the 
Institute of Traffic Engineers' Level-of-Service C; the fee is based on 
average construction costs (Barnebey et al. 1988). The county ear- 
marks the revenues earned for roadway improvements in the section 
of the county in which the development occurs. The imposition of 
such fees has passed several court tests in states such as California, 
Colorado, Florida, and Oregon, but they work best in states that 
have passed enabling legislation (Nelson 1988). 

A new California law (Proposition 111) that requires congestion 
management planning is an example of a governmental response to 
the degraded air quality and delays caused when demand exceeds 
supply. For each corridor, a base level of capacity is to be established. 
When new projects produce additional demands that degrade service 
below this level, they must be corrected by expanding the roadway, 
introducing traffic management techniques, or downsizing the devel- 
opment. If local jurisdictions do not develop congestion management 
plans, they could lose their share of the increased state aid made 
possible by Proposition 111. 

The ISTEA (enacted after Proposition 111) also requires states and 
MPOs to develop congestion management systems [Sections 1024(i) 
and 1025(h)]. These systems are not described in any detail in the 
legislation, but they are clearly meant to encourage reliance on the 
existing intermodal system to the extent that doing so is practical, 
and they are intended to encourage metropolitan areas to meet clean 



82 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



air standards. The requirement for greater planning to avoid conges- 
tion can be a device for ports to use when they are concerned that 
project development along a key corridor serving the port will be- 
come congested because of the development. The committee recom- 
mends that congestion management techniques to maintain efficient 
freight movements on port access routes be incorporated into conges- 
tion management plans. 



Working with Neighborhood Groups 

Many cities and communities address the concerns of neighborhood 
groups through hearings or public meetings, but some land use issues 
are too complex to be resolved in that way alone. Some local jurisdic- 
tions have developed a tradition of extensive citizen and neighbor- 
hood involvement in major issues of transportation planning. Plans 
for major development projects in these cases can include discussions 
with dozens of groups, many meetings, and extensive review of and 
commentary on plans by community residents. The citizen and neigh- 
borhood involvement in the extension of the Washington, D.C., rail 
transit system through Arlington County, Virginia, provides a case 
study of constructive community involvement (Parker 1988). 

Effective resolutions to complex land use issues, though perhaps on 
a smaller scale than a subway line, are also being achieved more often 
through multiparty negotiations. These negotiations typically include 
the project developer, city officials, and affected groups (Fulton 
1989). The models developed for these complex negotiations are 
varied, but they have some common features: they require face-to- 
face negotiations and neutral facilitators, include all parties with a 
legitimate interest, mandate that all parties agree on the process, and 
rely on consensus decision making (Fulton 1989, 2). Such negotia- 
tions are difficult and time-consuming, but once achieved they can 
result in decisions that reflect the interests of all groups and avoid 
future confrontations in court or in the political arena. For example, 
a neighborhood group that is adamantly opposed to a proposed com- 
mercial development that would be next to the neighborhood may be 
more opposed to the additional traffic than to the development itself. 
Hence, a negotiation that resulted in the developer's agreeing to fund 
transportation improvements that would keep traffic away from 
neighborhood streets may be an acceptable compromise for all par- 



Land Use 83 



ties. The developer could proceed less concerned about future efforts 
to stop or delay the project. When major redevelopment plans are 
being considered for ports, port officials can make early overtures to 
the affected neighborhood groups to ensure that their views are incor- 
porated into the design. Although working with neighborhood 
groups early in a project may require the ports to accept landside 
projects that are less than ideal, it may allow projects to move for- 
ward that would otherwise be blocked by political or legal opposi- 
tion. Port officials can advance their causes by working more closely 
with neighborhood groups and local planning officials while they are 
planning their improvements to develop and negotiate projects more 
acceptable to all parties and to help avoid litigation by groups op- 
posed to such projects. 

Summary 

The options suggested in this chapter require port officials to be adept 
at municipal and state affairs, but this is not new. Many ports are a 
branch of a municipality, a special district within a municipality, or an 
arm of state government. Port officials, however, should become 
more involved in influencing areawide land use and transportation 
decisions and in working with neighborhood groups during the plan- 
ning phase to help avoid future conflicts. 

Specific provisions in the ISTEA provide for better planning to 
preserve key corridors, purchase rights-of-way, and avoid increased 
congestion. As discussed in Chapter 7, the ISTEA makes some funda- 
mental changes in the process of planning, selecting, and funding 
projects that will place even greater emphasis on port officials in 
metropolitan areas becoming more involved in regional transporta- 
tion planning. 

REFERENCES 

Alexander, J., N. Sipe, and E. Starnes. 1980. Waterfront Development and 
Change: Pensacola, Florida. In Urban Waterfront Lands, Environmental 
Studies Board, National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washing- 
ton, D.C., pp. 139-162. 

Barnebey, M., et al. 1988. Paying for Growth: Community Approaches to Devel- 
opment Impact Fees. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 54, 
No. 1, pp. 7-17. 



84 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



City of Boston. 1990. City of Boston Municipal Harbor Plan, Harborpark Plan. 
October. 

Donaher et al. 1980. Boston's Waterfront Issues for Today and Tomorrow. In 
Urban Waterfront Lands, Environmental Studies Board, National Re- 
search Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 
21-51. 

Draper, R. 1988. Impact Fees, A Closer Look. In Strategies to Alleviate Traffic 
Congestion: Proc., ITE 1987 National Conference, Institute of Traffic Engi- 
neers, Washington, D.C., pp. 634-644. 

Fulton, W. 1989. Reaching Consensus in Land-Use Negotiations. Report 417. 
Planning Advisory Service, American Planning Association. 

Goodwin, R. 1988. Waterfront Revitalization: Ways to Retain Waterfront Indus- 
tries. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor 
and Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 287-306. 

Hershman, M. (ed.). 1988. Urban Ports and Harbor Management. Taylor and 
Francis, New York, N. Y. 

Jackson, R. 1981. Land Use in America. V.H. Winston and Sons, New York, 
N.Y. 

Journal of Commerce. 1988. Docks' Defenders Face Widespread Condomania. 
December 14, p. 1. 

Kagan, R. 1990. Patterns of Port Development: Government, Intermodal Trans- 
portation and Innovation in the United States, China, and Hong Kong. Re- 
search Report UCB-ITS-90-13. Institute of Transportation Studies, University 
of California, Berkeley. 

Kelly, E. 1988. Zoning. In The Practice of Local Government Planning, 2nd 
ed., International City Management Association, Washington, D.C., pp. 
251-286. 

Knack, J. 1991. The Third Battle of New Orleans. Planning, Vol. 57, No. 2, 
February, pp. 5-13. 

Kolis, A., and D. Mandelker. 1987. Legal Techniques for Preserving Right-of- 
Way for Future Projects Including Corridor Protection. In National Coopera- 
tive Highway Research Program Research Results Digest 165, National Re- 
search Council, Washington, D.C. 

Mayer, H. 1988. The Physical Harbor: New Demands on a Scarce Resource. In 
Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor and 
Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 77-97. 

Moss, M. 1980. New Prospects for the New York City Waterfront. New York 
Sea Grant Report Series Report NYSRG-RS-80-03. New York University. 

Nelson, A. 1988. Symposium: Development Impact Fees, Introduction. Journal 
of the American Planning Association, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 3-6. 

Parker, T. 1988. Community Involvement and Planning for Transit. In Transit 
Land Use and Urban Form (W. Attoe, ed.), School of Architecture, University 
of Texas, Austin, pp. 155-160. 

Rohe, W. and L. Gates. 1985. Planning with Neighborhoods. University of 
North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 



Land Use 85 



Rohe, W, and S. Mouw. 1991. The Politics of Relocation: The Moving of the 
Crest Street Community. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 
57, No. 1, pp. 57-68. 

Rosenbloom, S. 1988. Transportation Planning. In The Practice of Local Gov- 
ernment Planning, 2nd ed., International City Management Association, 
Washington, D.C., pp. 139-174. 

Wagner, R. 1980. New York City Waterfront: Changing Land Use and Prospects 
for Redevelopment. In Urban Waterfront Lands , Environmental Studies 
Board, National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, 
D.C., pp. 78-99. 



5 



Regulatory Issues 



The growing array of complex, sometimes conflicting, federal, 
state, regional, and local environmental and safety laws and 
regulations affects the efficiency of port operations and the 
ability to improve access constraints. For port officials, the most 
pressing aspects of this problem are the regulations on the preserva- 
tion of wetlands. Additional concerns about air quality and proposals 
for restricting truck operations, though not yet imposed, suggest 
complicated problems that ports may be required to contend with in 
the future. Dredging and disposing of dredged materials have a more 
direct effect on waterside access to ports than on landside access, but 
the disposal of dredged materials can also influence efforts to recon- 
figure terminals. Having hazardous materials on port property or in 
transportation corridors, and moving such cargoes, can also pose 
risks to public safety. In addition, many port officials express concern 
about conflicting state and national regulations governing the loaded 
weight of trucks serving the ports. 

CONSTRAINTS 
Wetlands Preservation 
Background 

Environmental issues rank high on the public policy agenda. The 
National Transportation Policy, pronounced in February 1990, in- 
cludes the following statement: 

86 



Regulatory Issues 87 



The National Environmental Policy Act and other laws already require 
assessment of the effects of significant Federal transportation actions 
or Federal-aid projects on the environment, special attention to air 
pollution, and protection of wetlands and coastal zones. . . . The 
Department of Transportation must continue to coordinate with other 
agencies to ensure timely and effective environmental review of trans- 
portation projects built or funded as part of Federal programs, and to 
see that Federal environmental policies are reflected in transportation 
programs and decisions. . . . The Department of Transportation, in 
coordination with other agencies, is developing guidelines for carrying 
out the "no net loss" goal with respect to the effects of transportation 
on the Nation's wetlands. (DOT 1990) 

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 
1991 makes clear the priority that Congress places on environmental 
goals. As declared in the first paragraph of this legislation, "It is the 
policy of the United States to develop a National Intermodal Trans- 
portation System that is economically efficient and environmentally 
sound . . ." (Section 2). Later in that section, the act requires "particu- 
lar attention to the external benefits of reduced air pollution, reduced 
traffic congestion, and other aspects of quality of life." 

Many, if not most, Americans support these goals. Many port 
officials, however, note that the current environmental regulatory 
process can mean long, costly delays. As the American public has 
become more aware of the depletion of its most valued environmental 
resources in recent years, federal provisions protecting wetlands and 
coastal areas have been toughened and enforcement of existing regu- 
lations has been strengthened. Existing laws and regulations include 
the federal Clean Water Act's permitting program (Section 404), a 
memorandum of agreement on mitigation between the Environmen- 
tal Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(COE), and provisions in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act 
of 1972. Other federal and state agencies are also involved in protect- 
ing wetlands. COE is required to weigh the environmental concerns 
raised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine 
Fisheries Service as well as the environmental concerns raised by state 
and regional agencies. 

The land development process involving wetlands is cumbersome 
and time-consuming: 

Not surprisingly, many of the [involved] agencies have rules dealing 
with the same issue or problem. This is so because the authorizing laws 



8 8 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



refer to the same geographic area and often have the same environmen- 
tal protection or resource allocation objectives. The result is that simi- 
lar principles of coastal management are espoused, but they are 
implemented differently to the consternation of permit applicants. 
Most of the agencies, for example, are protecting wetlands, mini- 
mizing landfill in water areas, encouraging only necessary water- 
dependent uses to encroach on the water . . . requiring mitigation 
where there is an unavoidable adverse impact on aquatic resources, 
and promoting public access whenever possible. But the agencies will 
differ on such matters as the definition of wetlands, the justification 
for fill, the definition of "water dependency" and the appropriate type 
and amount of mitigation or public access. . . . Ports and other coastal 
developers are faced with a maturing regulatory framework, but one 
that does not yet provide predictability or consensus. Because of the 
case-by-case review structure, the conflicting standards of review, the 
differences among coastal environments, and the inadequate links be- 
tween long-range plans and individual permit applications, the pattern 
of permit battles on individual projects will continue. (Hershman and 
Kory 1988, 111-112} 

Many changes in wetlands regulatory and nonregulatory policy 
have been proposed by the Bush administration. The administration 
continues to endorse the "no net loss" goal, advocates increased ac- 
quisition and restoration of wetlands on federal land, and, among 
several other changes, supports increased research and training. Sev- 
eral changes have been proposed to reduce the delays in receiving 
permits: 

COE would be responsible for all meetings and contacts with the 
public on behalf of the applicant and other agencies; 

Permit applications not acted on in 6 months would be consid- 
ered approved; 

Use of general permits would be expanded; 

Consulting agencies would be required to provide site-specific 
information when commenting on individual permits, and appeals 
would be based on resources or issues of national significance- and 

States and localities would be encouraged to assume larger roles 
Deluding the use of regional and state general permits and more 
flexible state assumption of Section 404 permitting. 

In addition the administration has proposed substantial revisions 
to the procedures used to classify wetlands. Comments on several 



Regulatory Issues 89 



changes to the manual for delineating wetlands were requested by 
notice in Federal Register of August 14, 1991; these changes are 
designed to clarify the definitions and assessment procedures that can 
be used to classify land that is part of a wetland or wet for only part 
of the year (Federal Register 1991). 

At this stage it is impossible to predict the outcome of these pro- 
posals and their effects on port landside access. Some of the changes 
proposed in the wetlands delineation manual have been met with 
alarm by some environmental scientists and environmental groups, 
which have charged that the revised procedures prescribed for delin- 
eating wetlands lack a scientific basis (Washington Post 1991). State 
wetlands managers have welcomed the proposals designed to stream- 
line the permitting process, but they have also complained that some 
of the revised delineation procedures are "illogical and unusable" 
(Association of State Wetlands Managers 1991). Even as these issues 
are debated in the media and in comments to the docket (and will 
probably continue to be debated in future litigation), legislative pro- 
posals have been made to reauthorize the Clean Water Act, which is 
due to expire in 1992. Several bills have been proposed in Congress 
with a definition of wetlands substantially different from that pro- 
posed by the administration, and other bills propose to change the 
Section 404 permitting process significantly. The continuing contro- 
versy over protecting wetlands and the pending reauthorization of the 
Clean Water Act suggest that a more streamlined permitting process is 
unlikely to emerge for some time. 

Examples 

In examining the impact of environmental regulations on landside 
access, one must recognize the importance of land availability to 
modern container ports. Even a small to medium-sized container 
terminal with 6 to 10 berths would require 200 to 400 acres of land 
on or near the waterfront; very large terminals can require 2,000 to 
3,000 acres. Marine container terminals provide not only loading 
and unloading facilities and equipment but equally important con- 
tainer storage and staging areas. Container storage yards are neces- 
sary because very few outbound containers can be dispatched 
immediately after arriving at the terminal, and very few inbound 
containers can be picked up immediately after coming off a ship. 
Virtually all of them must spend some time in temporary storage. 



90 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 




Container storage areas require scarce urban waterfront land. This terminal 
design minimizes the demand by stacking containers instead of mounting 
each container on a truck chassis (photograph courtesy Port of Seattle). 

Container staging areas are required to consolidate and containerize 
some bulk cargo that arrives at the ports by boxcar or truckload 
shipment. 

The need for land and for new intermodal connections to serve 
container operations is largely driven by the rapid technology change 
in containerization outlined in Chapter 2. In heavily urbanized areas 
land is at a premium, and reconfiguring available space to provide for 
rail and highway connections and to provide container staging and 
storage areas is a complex problem. Because bulk commodity han- 
dling has not undergone the same technology changes in recent years, 
and because bulk terminals tend to already have direct connections to 
rail heads and to pipelines, bulk terminals have less demand for new 
land and less need to improve connections in response to shipper 
demand. 

To compete for intermodal freight, most West Coast ports have 
brought rail lines closer to marine terminals, sometimes into the termi- 
nal. Many East Coast ports are trying to do so as well. On- or near- 
terminal rail service reduces the distance that containers must be moved 
from ship to rail, which improves port productivity but consumes 
scarce land. In addition, because many inbound containers have local 



Regulatory Issues 91 



or regional destinations, the terminal must also provide service roads 
for trucks to enter and exit and space for them to maneuver. 

Much of the available land around the ports could be designated as 
wetlands (depending on the definition recommended by the adminis- 
tration in pending revisions to wetland regulation) and therefore 
would be protected under regulatory programs, with a direct impact 
on port access. For example, at Hampton Roads, where approxi- 
mately 80 percent of available land is classified as wetlands, the 
Virginia Port Authority is interested in developing a 2,500-acre site 
into a terminal, but it may not be able to because environmental 
regulations discourage disturbing shallow-water seabeds. Similar 
problems have impeded improvements in land access to another ter- 
minal that would be accomplished by filling in some drainage ditches 
and using some undeveloped areas to dispose of dredged material. 
The ability to expand terminals is constrained at many ports for 
similar reasons. Fifty percent of the ports surveyed by the American 
Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) note that there is a problem. 
Twenty percent of surveyed ports report that wetlands regulations 
usually or always impede landside access, and 30 percent report that 
they sometimes do (Table 5-1). Officials at the Port of Tacoma esti- 
mate that waterfront development requires the port to deal with 39 
separate approvals in state government and 37 in the federal 
government. 

Because practicable nonwetland alternatives are rarely available to 
seaports contemplating expansion, the permitting process under the 
Clean Water Act, Section 404, generally focuses on negotiating a 
compensatory mitigation package. Although mitigation is also dis- 
cussed as an opportunity for dealing with environmental regulation, 
it is important to recognize that this process requires consensus of the 
various federal and state resource agencies, and resolving differences 
has often taken much time and effort from port applicants. 

Seaports have been engaged in mitigation efforts to offset or com- 
pensate for unavoidable loss or damage to wetlands for some time. 
Reviewing several efforts by seaports reveals the difficulties involved 
in mitigation (Wessel and Hershman 1988): 

Lack of standardized methods for quantifying the value of envi- 
ronmental resources and thus measure the progress of mitigation, 

Insufficient understanding of ecosystems and how to replicate 
them, and 



92 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE 5-1 Environmental Constraints Identified in AAPA Survey 



All Ports 

(n = 54) 



Container Ports 

(n = 25) 



All Other 

(n = 29) 



Constraint 



No. Percent No. Percent No. Percent 



Wetlands regulations 
impede develop- 
ment of access 
improvements 
Usually or 

always 
Sometimes 
Regulations in place 
or proposed to 
restrict rail or 
truck operations 



11 
16 



20 
30 



11 



24 
32 



16 



5 
8 



17 
28 



Resource agency shortcomings, such as lack of goals or agree- 
ment about goals and inadequate enforcement and monitoring. 

The problems with mitigation that seaports have encountered are 
characteristic of mitigation efforts in general; wetlands mitigation 
and restoration is an emerging field with a modest research base and a 
lack of understanding about how to design, implement, and evaluate 
the success of mitigation efforts (Kusler and Kentula 1990). As a 
result of issues such as these, wetlands mitigation is a process fraught 
with expense and uncertainty. Despite the technical and scientific 
difficulties, wetlands "mitigation banking" may provide an outlet for 
future port expansions. 

In this strategy [mitigation banking], habitats are created, restored, or 
enhanced prior to their use to fulfill a permit application requirement. 
Habitat credits are accumulated . . . which may be charged against the 
habitat losses incurred by future developments. (Wessel and Hershman 
1988,282) 

Though appealing in concept and discussed as an opportunity for 
addressing environmental protection, mitigation banking faces sev- 
eral obstacles: the cost of buying undeveloped waterfront land (when 
such land can be found), the cost and uncertainties associated with 



Regulatory Issues 93 



'?" 
V 



Nine-acre wetland built by the Port of Tacoma to help mitigate the environ- 
mental impact of developing a marine terminal. 

wetlands restoration and enhancement, and the lack of consensus in 
valuing restored or enhanced wetlands (Wessel and Hershman 1988, 
283). [Kusler and Kentula (1990) summarize the current gaps in the 
science of mitigation and outline a variety of steps that should be 
taken to improve the management of mitigation and restoration 
efforts.] 



Controls on Operations To Improve Air Quality 

The hours of truck operations can be constrained either by neighbor- 
hood opposition to noise or by proposals to reduce congestion and 
the related vehicular emissions that degrade air quality. Noise-related 
restrictions were discussed in Chapter 4 as a neighborhood issue; air- 
quality-related proposals are the subject of this section. Right now, 
1 1 percent of the communities surrounding seaports have in-place or 
proposed restrictions on the hours of rail or truck operation (Table 
5-1). It is not apparent from the questionnaire whether these restric- 
tions are designed to control noise and traffic or to reduce emissions, 



94 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



but current restrictions are likely to be related to noise and future 
restrictions are likely to be related to air quality. 

Southern California has some of the most severe air-quality prob- 
lems in the country; its problems and efforts to deal with them foretell 
what many urbanized areas will face. In the Los Angeles area, 80 
percent of the carbon monoxide comes from motor vehicles, as do 
half of the emissions that are sources of ozone (Paaswell 1990). The 
state of California, a regional air-quality district, and local govern- 
ments have proposed far-reaching programs to reduce vehicular emis- 
sions. One proposal would ban heavy trucks from city streets during 
rush hours to reduce the traffic congestion that contributes to excess 
emissions. This proposal has been fiercely resisted by the trucking 
industry in California, and although a recent referendum would limit 
the ability of local governments to enact such policies, the South 
Coast Air Quality Management District (which covers the counties of 
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino) maintains that 
it has authority from the state to control vehicular traffic. 

The ban on truck movements on city streets during rush hours that 
has been discussed by the city of Los Angeles would disrupt container 
movements from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach destined 
for delivery within the city. Although many containers entering these 
ports can be moved by rail, a large proportion is destined for the 
greater Los Angeles area, which necessitates movement by truck* At 
the time of this writing, only the city of Los Angeles is considering a 
rush-hour truck ban, but the direct effect on the San Pedro Bay ports 
is unclear. One proposal under consideration in Los Angeles would 
exempt streets that are close to the Port of Los Angeles. The city of 
Long Beach is not considering a ban on truck traffic during peak 
hours, so the Port of Long Beach would not be affected as directly. 
But because trucks coming from both ports operate throughout the 
region, they are bound to be affected by bans on rush-hour truck 
traffic on city streets (movements on state highways would not be 
affected). The short time span between the end of the morning rush 
hour and the beginning of the afternoon rush hour would not leave 
enough time for many deliveries to be made. Many shippers and 
receivers of cargo probably would have to operate during nighttime 
hours. The actual regulations and the possible responses remain spec- 
ulative; more will be known only when the South Coast Air Quality 
Management District proposes a regulation. With many metropolitan 
areas around the country failing EPA ambient air-quality standards 



Regulatory Issues 95 



for carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide, others are watching the Los 
Angeles area with great interest. 



Dredge and Fill Operations 

The need for dredging to improve the ability of harbors and channels 
to handle large, modern vessels is mainly a waterside issue, but 
dredge and fill operations are closely related to port landside develop- 
ment. Throughout the history of port development, ports created 
waterfront land using fill materials dredged from the harbor. The 
growing concern for environmental protection, however, has made 
this process time-consuming and in many cases unworkable, or work- 
able only after great costs. Major federal dredging projects often 
require more than 20 years of effort to study alternatives, secure 
permits, and receive federal funding (Marine Board 1985). Contest- 
ing local or environmental groups opposed to dredging projects adds 
still more time; even when the groups do not prevail in court, they 
can tie up agencies in lengthy proceedings (Kagan 1990). The Port of 
Oakland's 20-year efforts to achieve a permit to deepen the channel 
leading to the port from 35 to 42 ft is a case in point. 

The time required for dredging projects has expanded in recent 
years, in part because of disagreements dating to the Carter adminis- 
tration between Congress and the executive branch over funding for 
major water projects and port improvements (Marine Board 1985). 
Both the Carter and the Reagan administrations tried to change the 
long-standing process (which was changed in 1986) by which individ- 
ual congressional committees selected and funded major port 
projects. 

The complex environmental review and permitting process con- 
tributes to the slow pace. The many agencies involved have different 
priorities and different abilities to oversee complex issues. COE is the 
lead agency for approving dredging projects and issuing permits, but 
other federal agencies that take part are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and EPA. Several state 
and local agencies are also involved, such as state departments of fish, 
game, and wildlife; state and regional water quality control boards; 
and state coastal-zone management programs. When all these agen- 
cies' oversight and approval roles are combined, the list is daunting. 
A major dredging project on the West Coast, for example, required 



96 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



negotiations with 63 separate offices of the various regulatory agen- 
cies. Even though COE has the lead role, environmental regulations 
require it to "give full consideration" to the comments of other agen- 
cies (Marine Board 1985, 86), and EPA can override its decisions. As 
a result, a process already made complicated by the scientific and 
technical issues is lengthened by an extensive process for review, 
comment, and approval. 



Buried Hazardous Materials 

The concerns about dumping hazardous and toxic materials into port 
harbors also apply to burying hazardous and toxic materials in port 
terminal land or in the rights-of-way of transportation corridors serv- 
ing the ports. State transportation agencies throughout the nation 
encounter problems with buried hazardous wastes and few agencies 
are prepared for the scope and cost of those problems (NCHRP 
1988). 

Hazardous waste, which may be the residue of former industrial 
land uses on port land, must be managed under the guidelines of a 
multitude of federal and state laws and regulations. The federal laws 
include the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, 
and Liability Act; the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization 
Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Hazardous 
and Solid Waste amendments; and the worker protection require- 
ments of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These 
laws also establish liability for hazardous waste cleanup, which can 
include the owner of the land even if the owner had neither a role in 
depositing the hazardous waste nor knowledge of its presence. The 
AAPA survey did not include a question about hazardous waste, but 
the issue did surface in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 
study team's visits to individual ports. Two projects in Toledo, for 
example, include land contaminated with industrial wastes. One 
project has been delayed by EPA review, and another has been com- 
plicated by the presence of benzene in land that the city wants to 
acquire to provide an overpass that would help solve a transportation 
bottleneck at the port. Some of the unused parcels available to the 
Delaware River ports are former industrial sites; the cost of cleanup 
may prohibit any future use. 



Regulatory Issues 97 



Hazardous Materials Transportation 

A substantial share of products moving through ports handling bulk 
commodities are classified as hazardous. At the Port Authority of 
New York and New Jersey, for example, officials estimate that 12 
percent of port vehicles carry hazardous materials of which 40 per- 
cent is flammable. In the AAPA survey, 40 percent of ports report that 
hazardous materials shipments usually or always must travel over 
congested routes in urbanized areas (Table 5-2). For routes without 
practical alternatives, carriers serving the ports must first gain 
waivers or exemptions from the appropriate state or local regulatory 
authorities. Gaining waivers, however, does not appear to be a prob- 
lem. Only 7 percent of the large ports in the AAPA survey indicate 
that carriers serving their port terminals have experienced some prob- 
lem obtaining exemptions (Table 5-2). 

The survey and site visits provided relatively little information 
about hazardous materials transportation via pipeline and the poten- 
tial risks to public safety of increased development around these 
pipelines. This may indicate lack of a problem; pipelines are inher- 
ently safer than above-ground modes (TRB 1988). On the other 
hand, pipelines in urbanized areas were often placed well before cur- 
rent practices for minimizing risk were developed, and some of these 
pipelines are quite old. Three major pipelines serving the Boston area, 
for example, had to be closed because of their age and the risk of 
rupture. The cost of replacing them was prohibitive; fuel oil is now 
transported from the port to users in the Boston area by truck. Be- 
cause the committee had relatively little information about hazardous 
materials transport from ports via pipeline, the rest of this section 
focuses on routing issues for surface transport. The committee, how- 
ever, does believe that this issue should be studied in greater depth 
and that a determination should be made about the appropriateness 
of pipeline locations that serve ports, separation from encroaching 
residential and commercial land uses, and risks associated with aged 
pipelines. For port and local government officials interested in exam- 
ining these issues, policies designed to enhance public safety by lim- 
iting accidental damage to pipelines, encroachment on pipeline 
easements through local land use controls, and emergency response 
can be found in a Transportation Research Board report (TRB 1988). 

The risks of hazardous materials transportation have received a 
great deal of public attention and concern in recent years. Landmark 



98 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE 5-2 Regulatory Issues Affecting Landside Access Identified in 
AAPA Survey 

All Container All 

Ports (%) Ports (%) Other (%) 
Issue (n = 54) (n = 25) (n = 29) 

Hazardous materials and military 

traffic passes through congested 

urban areas 

Usually or always 41 40 41 

Some problems with exemptions 

for hazardous materials and 

military explosives 7 12 3 

Freight is lost to competitive ports 

in states with more permissive 

weight limits 30 52 16 

Special permits available for 

overweight container 48 22 41 

State or local agencies usually or 

always enforce truck weight 

limits 83 80 86 

legislation has been passed, but responsibilities at the state and local 
level are varied and diffused, and the regulations governing that legis- 
lation are still evolving. However, recent federal legislation and the 
soon-to-be-issued regulations implementing those regulations will es- 
tablish greater conformity for routing and provide specifically for 
port access. 

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 
has authority for hazardous materials transportation under the Haz- 
ardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990. Within 
DOT, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has 
the delegated authority to coordinate hazardous materials regulatory 
functions for all modes except bulk marine cargo (OTA 1986). Spe- 
cific requirements are prescribed by DOT /RSPA for the safe transpor- 
tation of hazardous materials; they include classification, packing, 
shipping papers, package markings, labeling, transport vehicle 
placarding, and routing. 

Compliance with DOT's hazardous material regulations in and 
around seaports is enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal 
Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration 



Regulatory Issues 99 



(FHWA), and RSPA within the modes under their purview. Because 
most states have adopted DOT's hazardous materials regulations, 
state agencies enforce many regulations as well. 

Several other federal agencies have some jurisdiction over other 
aspects of hazardous materials transportation (OTA 1986). EPA is 
responsible for designating hazardous materials and hazardous 
wastes, and EPA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission establish 
some transportation requirements (e.g., manifesting and packaging) 
for hazardous and radioactive materials. The Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration sets worker protection regulations. 

State transportation agencies have a key role because of their oper- 
ational responsibilities over state highways, but the extent of that 
authority and the manner in which it is exercised vary from state to 
state (OTA 1986; FHWA 1991, 39). Most state agencies take part in 
every facet of hazardous materials regulation, routing, and enforce- 
ment, but some have not been given statutory authority by their 
legislatures. In many states the state police have been granted that 
authority. 

Responsibility for hazardous materials at the city or local level is 
quite varied. The local police and fire departments usually have the 
primary responsibility for enforcing routing and for responding to 
emergencies. 

Rules and regulations for the routing of hazardous materials can 
have a significant impact on port accessibility. Because only a few rail 
lines, if not just one, serve most ports, hazardous materials routinely 
move on the only available line. On highways, alternative routes may 
exist, but their use for hazardous materials may be restricted. 

DOT regulates the highway routing of hazardous materials ship- 
ments in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 397.9. That 
rule generally requires avoidance where possible of heavily populated 
areas, tunnels, and narrow streets. 

In the 1990 amendments to the Hazardous Materials Transporta- 
tion Act of 1975 (49 U.S.C. App 1801 et seq.), Congress found that 

many states and localities have enacted laws and regulations which 
may vary from Federal laws and regulations pertaining to hazardous 
materials, thereby creating the potential for unreasonable hazards in 
other jurisdictions and confounding shippers and carriers which at- 
tempt to comply with the multiple and conflicting registration, permit- 
ting, routing, notification, and other regulatory requirements . . . and 
the movement of hazardous materials in commerce is necessary and 



100 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



desirable to maintain economic vitality and meet consumer demands, 
and shall be conducted in a safe manner. 

Additionally, that legislation directed the Secretary of Transporta- 
tion to establish regulatory standards that states may use in establish- 
ing, maintaining, and enforcing specific highway routes over which 
hazardous materials may and may not be hauled by motor vehicles. 
These standards are to include a requirement that provides for access 
to reasonable routes to terminals (49 U.S.C. App 1804). Regulations 
establishing these standards are expected to be issued soon. 

Trucks Carrying Overweight Containers 

In March 1989 FHWA reported that fully one-third of a random 
sample of all marine containers entering and leaving the United States 
during a 1-year period would potentially exceed federal highway 
weight limits if transported by typical highway equipment (FHWA 
1989). Whether these heavy containers would actually violate federal 
weight limits, however, depends on a complex set of circumstances, 
including which type of rig was used to haul the container, whether 
the routes traveled were federal-aid highways, and whether the states 
in which the containers were hauled have certain exemptions from 
federal weight limits under federal law. Nonetheless, that a consider- 
able share of container movements come close to the maximum fed- 
eral limits, combined with the exponential increase in pavement 
damage caused by their weight, raises concern about the effects of 
increased container transportation on the condition of state high- 
ways. This, in turn, can become an issue impeding efforts to improve 
landside access. 

The effects of overweight container rigs are felt throughout the 
transportation chain: trucking firms pass on their increased costs 
from extra maintenance, equipment damage, fines, and accident lia- 
bility and litigation; to the extent that they are unable to pass these 
costs on, service deteriorates and the system suffers. Significantly 
overweight containers can also directly affect container ships, termi- 
nals, and trains by causing similar equipment and safety problems. 
Again, these problems impinge on landside access issues. 

Although it is generally recognized as a problem, the overweight 
container situation is one in which divided governmental responsi- 
bilities make resolution of the issue difficult. State highway weight 



Regulatory Issues 101 



laws and enforcement practices differ widely; to date, the federal 
government has not acted to bring state laws and enforcement prac- 
tices into greater conformity. Many public and private studies and 
activities are under way, however, that are intended to address and 
resolve this complex problem. 

Concern about the overweight container issue was raised at almost 
all the ports visited by the DOT study teams. Of the ports in the 
AAPA survey, more than half of container ports (52 percent) believe 
that their ports are losing freight because ports in other states have 
higher weight limits under their higher (grandfathered) weight limits 
(Table 5-2). In comparison, only 16 percent of respondents for non- 
container ports believe that their ports are losing freight to ports in 
states with more permissive limits (Table 5-2). About half of the 
container ports indicate that their states have special permit programs 
for allowing the operation of overweight containers. Most ports (83 
percent) report that state or local agencies usually or always enforced 
weight limits. 

Many proposals for solving this problem have been put forth. No 
single solution is adequate by itself. All are beyond port responsibility 
and authority. A comprehensive solution acceptable to most parties 
will probably require some combination of approaches. The principal 
ideas can be grouped into six categories: 

Shipper education, 

Weight enforcement, 

State cooperation and enforcement, 

Bonded shippers, 

Modified tariffs, and 

Special equipment. 

These issues are discussed in greater detail in a recent report of the 
Transportation Research Board (TRB 1992). 



OPPORTUNITIES 



Regional Planning 

From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, several regional port plan- 
ning studies were undertaken in an effort to balance port develop- 



1 02 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



ment needs with environmental protection. One study, and its imple- 
mentation, for the San Francisco Bay Area (which includes six marine 
terminals) appears to have been among the most successful (Fay 
1985). The plan was developed jointly by the Metropolitan Transpor- 
tation Commission (MTC) and the Bay Conservation and Develop- 
ment Commission (BCDC) in consultation with the area ports and 
environmental groups. MTC is a nine-county planning agency for the 
area; it has state authority to develop regional transportation priori- 
ties. BCDC is a state agency responsible for regulating the dredging 
and filling of the San Francisco Bay Area and the development of the 
shoreline. 1 

The San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan was developed over sev- 
eral years during which technical studies were conducted, port and 
environmental group interests were considered, and a mechanism was 
developed for enforcing the plan through BCDC's permitting author- 
ity. Although the ports initially resisted the planning process, they 
ultimately realized that MTC and BCDC had authority to act without 
their involvement and agreed to participate (Fay 1985). 

The Seaport Plan was designed primarily to address environmental 
concerns about the bay, but it also addresses deep-water channels and 
ground access. Although the plan has several provisions, two are 
fundamental: terminal development is to be allowed only where a 
need can be demonstrated, and terminals should be located at sites 
considered best for the plan, the land for which is protected for 
marine uses. For its part, BCDC uses the plan to improve the predict- 
ability of requests for permits and to reduce delays in permit applica- 
tions that arise when duplicative investments are proposed. MTC 
uses the plan in its regionwide surface transportation planning. 

In reviewing the success of the Seaport Plan compared with other 
efforts, Fay (1985), a planner with MTC, notes that implementation 
authority in this case through permitting is essential and that the 
agencies developing the plans must be prepared to support the planning 
process over a long period, first to develop the plan and then to manage 
revisions. In addition, the competing ports must recognize their com- 
mon interests and the benefits of cooperating. The benefits for the re- 
gion include the approval of only those terminal development projects 
that have regionwide justification, which minimizes the harmful effects 
to the bay. The benefits for ports include the assurance that approved 
projects will have expedited state permits and that efforts will be made 
to protect prime sites for future marine terminals. 



Regulatory Issues 103 



The Seaport Plan has not resolved all problems. Competition be- 
tween Bay Area cities and their ports reemerges from time to time, 
ports still face competition for land from commercial developers, 
federal approval and permits for dredging operate outside the plan, 
and interregional port competition still exists (Dahms 1992). None- 
theless, the plan has had many successes. For example, according to 
MTC, the Bay Area ports, absent the disruptions caused by the Loma 
Prieta earthquake of 1989, achieved good highway access, partly 
because of the priority setting by MTC for major highway projects 
needed to serve the ports (Dahms 1992). The success of this effort 
appears to have required state enabling legislation (both for environ- 
mental protection and for regional transportation planning in which 
the regulatory agencies had the authority to make decisions) and a 
willingness to cooperate. Without the power of BCDC to approve 
permits and the ability of MTC to coordinate transportation invest- 
ments, the ports may never have agreed to cooperate (Fay 1985). 
From the perspective of many in the port industry, the regional plan- 
ning process has not been as successful as promised. The permitting 
process is still slow, and federal permits are not governed by the 
process. Most would agree, however, that there has been value in 
bringing the many parties with an interest in the bay together into a 
single forum in which conflicting interests can be negotiated. 

Port officials who compete with one another in the same region will 
have difficulty accepting this approach, but environmental con- 
straints and limited transportation funds already restrict the ability of 
ports to expand their facilities when other ports in the same region 
are underused. Regional planning that coordinates environmental 
and transportation plans represents a way of balancing environmen- 
tal and transportation goals that has had some success. The commit- 
tee recommends that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) 
consider both development and environmental needs in a port region 
when analyzing port access needs. The ability to exercise these oppor- 
tunities may require specific state action to enable and empower re- 
gional planning organizations to develop and implement regional 
plans; where required, states should grant such authority. 

Expedited Permitting 

The most common lament about working with environmental protec- 
tion agencies is the length of time it takes to obtain permits. Some 



1 04 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



procedures exist for reducing the delay, however. For example, COE 
has a process referred to as "special area management plans" 
(SAMPs) or regional permits in which estuary or areawide permits are 
issued for common problems. Each problem does not require a full- 
blown Section 404 review; instead, it falls under the areawide permit. 
In some areas the COE permitting process is considerably quicker 
than that of the state (some states have more stringent environmental 
standards than those in federal law), but in other states expedited 
permitting has yet to be used. By extension of the SAMP, the COE 
could issue an areawide permit for a port's harbor complex that 
would cover a common set of problems. Permits for responding to 
common areawide problems (SAMPS) and regional permits should be 
relied on more extensively by COE; this concept might even be ap- 
plied to a common set of problems encountered by all the ports in a 
single harbor. 

Mitigation Planning 

Port development often requires the mitigation of unavoidable dam- 
age to the environment. Resource agencies often require that consid- 
erably more land be mitigated than is harmed in development, in a 
ratio occasionally as high as 5 to 1. As a result, identifying and 
preserving wetlands for mitigation is vital for future development. 
Wessel and Hershman (1988) recommend that ports include harbor- 
wide mitigation planning as part of long-range development plans in 
recognition that mitigation of some kind may well be required in 
order to obtain permits. 

Public ports have an interest in the greater harbor area, not just spe- 
cific development sites. ... A harbor-wide approach to mitigation 
provides greater opportunities for siting mitigation projects and en- 
hances permit "certainty" for long-range development plans. Ports can 
conduct or collaborate on necessary research. An improved informa- 
tion base can aid in both impact assessment and establishing trade-off 
values. Ports can form liaisons with environmental management units 
and in turn predict their concerns in advance of project review. Port 
projects that are environmentally sound and successfully compensate 
for adverse impacts can lead to greater public support for the port 
authority. (Wessel and Hershman 1988, 283) 

Clark (1990) points out that many of the delays in permitting 
associated with mitigation result from failure to include mitigation as 



Regulatory Issues 105 



a part of a Section 404 permit. Instead, mitigation often emerges after 
a permit has been requested and evolves as a condition of receiving a 
permit after extensive negotiations between and among the devel- 
opers, COE, and other involved agencies. By including mitigation 
planning as part of port development plans, this source of delay in the 
permitting process could be reduced. Wessel and Hershman note, 
however, that mitigation planning is not a panacea. The criteria for 
project review under Section 404 are stringent, and mitigation is 
allowed only after "all steps to avoid or minimize impacts" have been 
taken. 

Mitigation banking is one possible part of a plan, although the 
process is still formative and entails many scientific and procedural 
uncertainties. Mitigation banking might be done on a regional basis, 
involving all the ports in a single harbor. The ports in San Francisco 
Bay, for example, are considering such an approach. 

In addition to coordinating more with their MPOs, ports in the 
same region should cooperate more with each other to help reduce 
any harm done to the environment by port projects. The committee 
recommends port cooperation for mitigation planning on a regional 
or harborwide basis, including planning for mitigation banking the 
restoration or enhancement of a wetland before development to help 
obtain and fulfill permit requirements. 

The ISTEA makes clear that protecting and enhancing wetlands 
are eligible expenses for federal transportation funding [Sections 
1006(d)(13) and 1007(b)(10)]. For those highways classified as part 
of the national primary system that serves interstate commerce and 
for those more local roads that are part of a state or regional system, 
"participation in wetlands mitigation efforts related to projects 
funded under this title, which may include participation in wetlands 
mitigation banks, contributions to statewide and regional efforts to 
conserve, restore, enhance and create wetlands, and development of 
statewide and regional conservation and mitigation plans . . . may 
take place concurrent with or in advance of project construction" 
[Section 1006(d)(13)]. 

Given the importance of and popular support for environmental 
protection, ports and local governments find themselves more ac- 
countable for protecting the environment when improving landside 
access. The federal government has provided additional assistance in 
meeting environmental goals. The ISTEA makes explicit allowance 
for the use of transportation funds for acquiring, restoring, and en- 



106 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



hancing wetlands. Port officials should be aware of and apply for 
using such funds to compensate for the environmental effects of im- 
proving port access facilities. 



Other Environmental Opportunities 

Reduced vehicular emissions could also be attained by setting more 
stringent standards for the engines that power trucks and trains. The 
efficacy and costs and benefits of such proposals, however, were 
beyond the scope of this study committee. For the problem of buried 
hazardous wastes, many new procedures are being developed to de- 
toxify or contain such materials. This is a complex and constantly 
changing area, however, and the committee had no special expertise. 
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program, a research 
program managed by the Transportation Research Board, has issued 
a guidebook to help transportation officials confront this problem 
(NCHRP, 1988) and has a second study under way to review 
emerging procedures and identify exemplary state programs for deal- 
ing with buried hazardous materials. The report of this second study 
is expected to be completed in 1992. 



NOTE 

1. Gilliam (1980) provides a brief and favorable history of BCDC and its role in 
mediating environmental protection of the San Francisco Bay with demands 
for development. 



REFERENCES 

ABBREVIATIONS 

DOT U.S. Department of Transportation 

FHWA Federal Highway Administration 

NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program 

OTA Office of Technology Assessment 

TRB Transportation Research Board 

Association of State Wetlands Managers. 1991. Federal Wetland Delineation 
Manual: Chaos Reigns. ASWA Newsletter, Albany, N.Y. 



Regulatory Issues 1 07 



Clark, J. 1990. Regional Aspects of Wetlands Restoration and Enhancement in 
the Urban Waterfront Environment. In Wetland Creation and Restoration: 
The Status of the Science (Kusler and Kentula, eds.), Island Press, Washington, 
D.C., pp. 497-516. 

Dahms, L. 1992. The San Francisco Bay Area. In Transportation Research Cir- 
cular 391: Ports-Land Access: Public Policy Issues, National Research Council, 
Washington, D.C. 

DOT. 1990. Moving America: New Directions, New Opportunities: A State- 
ment of National Transportation Policy Strategies for Action. U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation, February. 

Fay, D. 1985. San Francisco Bay Area Seaport Plan: A Study of Its Development 
and Implementation. In Transportation Research Record 1015, National Re- 
search Council, Washington, D.C. 

Federal Register. 1991. Proposed Revisions: 1989 Federal Manual for Identify- 
ing and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands. August 14, pp. 40446-40480. 

FHWA. 1989. Analysis of Port Import/Export Reporting Service (PIERS) Data 
to Reveal Potentially Overweight Container Movements on America's High- 
ways. Transport Studies Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, March. 

FHWA. 1991. Present Practices of Highway Transportation of Hazardous Mate- 
rials. Report FHWA-RD-89-013. U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Gilliam, H. 1980. San Francisco Bay: Mystique Versus Economics. In Urban 
Waterfront Lands, Environmental Studies Board, National Research Council. 
National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 100-118. 

Hershman, M., and M. Kory. 1988. Federal Port Policy: Retrenchment in the 
1980s. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor 
and Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 99-115. 

Kagan, R. 1990. Patterns of Port Development: Government, Intermodal Trans- 
portation and Innovation in the United States, China, and Hong Kong. Report 
UCB-ITS-90-13. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, 
Berkeley. 

Kusler, J. and M. Kentula (eds.). 1990. Wetland Creation and Restoration: The 
Status of the Science. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 

Marine Board. 1985. Dredging Coastal Ports: An Assessment of the Issues. 
National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

NCHRP. 1988. NCHRP Report 310: Dealing with Hazardous Waste Sites: A 
Compendium for Highway Agencies. National Research Council, Washington, 
D.C. 

OTA. 1986. Transportation of Hazardous Materials. U.S. Congress. 

Paaswell, R. 1990. Air Quality and the Transportation Community. TR News, 
May-June, pp. 5-10. 

TRB. 1988. Special Report 219: Pipelines and Public Safety. National Research 
Council, Washington, D.C. 

TRB. 1992. Special Report 236: Intermodal Marine Transportation: Impedi- 
ments and Opportunities. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 



108 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Wessel, A., and M. Hershman. 1988. Mitigation: Compensating the Environ- 
ment for Unavoidable Harm. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. 
Hershman, ed.), Taylor and Francis, New York, N.Y., pp. 253-286. 

Washington Post. 1991. NAS Review of Wetlands Plan Urged. October 16, p. 
A16. 



6 



Defense Deployment 



Seaports have an important role in national defense; thus, the 
existence of landside impediments to ports raises concerns 
about military readiness in addition to those of transportation 
efficiency. Many of the resolutions to these impediments are the same 
as those addressed elsewhere in this report, but some requirements 
for military readiness are unique. 

The enormous logistical support required for deploying U.S. 
troops during the Desert Shield/Storm buildup of 1990-1991 illus- 
trates the dependence of the modern military on the civil infrastruc- 
ture of the United States. Seaports played a major role. More than 4 
million tons of cargo were shipped through U.S. ports alone to pro- 
vide material to troops deployed in the Persian Gulf (considerable 
amounts of equipment were shipped from Europe and other locations 
as well). By most accounts few bottlenecks occurred at domestic 
ports, but not only did the buildup occur during a period in which 
other business was slack, it unfolded over 7 months: in a crisis requir- 
ing a faster or larger mobilization, more commercial cargo shipments 
may be disrupted and more bottlenecks experienced. Military deploy- 
ment planning is already heavily dependent on the intermodal system 
and containerization and is pushing harder in this direction. In the 
aftermath of Desert Shield /Storm, defense planners intend to move 
even more supplies in the vehicles shipped as part of the initial de- 

109 



110 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



ployment (referred to as "unit moves"). They also plan to rely even 
more heavily on intermodal transportation and the private sector to 
move military cargo for resupply and sustainment (Containerisation 
International 1991). 



BACKGROUND 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) considers the capac- 
ity of the nation's seaports to be adequate to meet projected require- 
ments for national defense, although it recognizes that a large 
increase in cargo movements would strain the system (DOT 1990, 
16-3). In the event of a national emergency, some disruption in com- 
mercial cargo is to be expected. For example, for the Desert Shield/ 
Storm unit moves, the Military Sealift Command used virtually all the 
world's ships capable of being loaded by driving the vehicles aboard, 
referred to as roll on-roll off (RoRo) ships. The demand for these 
ships and the large number of vehicles to be loaded on them caused 
extensive marshalling of land vehicles at the affected ports. Although 
the problems encountered were not serious enough to warrant federal 
intervention, the Maritime Administration, acting through existing 
federal port controller contracts, has standby authority to assume 
control and management of port assets to ensure that military cargo 
receives sufficient priority. 

A review of the experience of the ports involved in Desert Shield/ 
Storm supports DOT's view that there is adequate port capacity. 
About 18 domestic ports were involved in support of the Desert 
Shield/ Storm buildup. Of the 14 civil ports, the 12 that responded 
to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) survey 
moved 84 percent of the total cargo and include two ports with by 
far the largest share of total cargo. In the initial unit moves, vehi- 
cles and their contents were the primary items shipped. Almost all 
of the containerized goods shipped through these ports were sus- 
tainment cargoes, that is, prepackaged foods, spare parts, and 
other dry goods. 

According to the AAPA port survey, the buildup for Desert Shield/ 
Storm went fairly smoothly. Two ports indicate that the shipments 
strained normal commercial operations, and one other port indicates 
that military cargo disrupted normal operations at the other termi- 
nals. Ten of the 12 respondents, however, indicate that military cargo 



Defense Deployment 111 



would not encounter any landside access impediments at their ports. 
The ports involved in Desert Shield /Storm report landside access 
problems in roughly the same proportion as other ports in the AAPA 
survey, except that there is less indication of a problem with many 
rail-highway crossings and no reports that the condition of rail lines 
impedes access (Table 6-1). 

Conversations with staff of the Military Traffic Management Com- 
mand (MTMC) indicate that they were not aware of any serious 
impediments to port landside access during the deployment. Some 
logistical problems did occur, such as the arrival ahead of schedule of 
large deliveries by truck and rail that could not be accommodated 
immediately, but in general port throughput was considered ade- 
quate. The ports handling RoRo traffic did experience landside con- 
gestion, but this was caused primarily by a shortage of ships and 
vessels. 

TABLE 6-1 Ports Involved in Desert Shield/ Storm in AAPA Survey 



All Ports 
(n = 54) 


Ports Involved in 
Desert Storm 3 

(n = 12) 


Survey Question 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


Truck routes congested 










Usually or always 


27 


50 


7 


58 


Sometimes 


22 


24 


5 


42 


Numerous at-grade rail-highway 










crossings 


25 


46 


4 


33 


Condition of rail lines impedes 










access 


4 


8 








Hours of terminal operation 










primarily restricted by local 










work rules 


8 


15 


2 


16 


Hazardous and military traffic 










must use corridors through 










congested urban areas 


22 


41 


6 


50 


Military cargoes would 










encounter some access 










impediments 


8 


14 


2 


16 



a The ports are Beaumont, Charleston, Gulfport, Hampton Roads, Houston, 
Jacksonville, Long Beach, New York and New Jersey, Oakland, Savannah, Ta- 
coma, and Wilmington, N.C. 



112 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Cargo shipments went smoothly partly because a large share of the 
domestic shipments (about 40 percent of the tonnage) was handled by 
two ports (Jacksonville, Florida, and Houston, Texas) that do not 
have access problems characteristic of other ports. For example, 
truck routes serving these two ports are not usually congested. Al- 
though rail lines serving the ports share the rights-of-way with public 
streets, they do not encounter frequent at-grade rail crossings, nor 
does the condition of rail lines impede access. The rest of the U.S. 
tonnage was scattered among a fairly large number of other military 
and civilian ports and did not account for a significant share of the 
tonnage at these ports. 

Many other reasons help explain why the deployment went fairly 
smoothly. Four months elapsed before hostilities began. The surface 
transportation system in the United States has considerable capacity, 
as do the ports themselves. As large as the deployment of cargo for 
Desert Shield/Storm was through the U.S. ports, the nation's 180 
ports move 200 times more cargo each year (Sherman 1991). The 
preexistence of port planning groups convened to organize and facili- 
tate military uses of ports also helped resolve issues quickly that could 
have caused more delay (Sherman 1991). A substantial amount of 
"forward-based" cargo shipped from non-U.S. ports relieved the pres- 
sure on U.S. ports. Saudi Arabia provided extensive amounts of sus- 
tainment cargo to U.S. troops. Finally, DOT and the Department of 
Defense (DOD) succeeded in ensuring an adequate network of routes 
for military deployment. 

DOT and DOD have planned extensively for military use of the 
U.S. surface transportation system. They have jointly identified de- 
fense highway needs, which consist of the 59,800-mi Strategic High- 
way Corridor Network (STRAHNET) and some 6,000 mi of 
connector routes extending between STRAHNET and important de- 
fense installations. STRAHNET consists of the Interstates and 
16,300 mi of additional major routes. It provides defense access, 
continuity, and emergency capability for the movement of personnel, 
materiel, and equipment. DOD, the Federal Highway Administra- 
tion, and the state DOTs have worked together to identify and main- 
tain records on this system and to give these routes priority in 
addressing the specific needs of the military for example, in ensur- 
ing adequate bridge clearances. The Intermodal Surface Transporta- 
tion Efficiency Act of 1991 incorporates the STRAHNET and 
connector routes to the STRAHNET into a new classification of 



Defense Deployment 113 



primary highways (the National Highway System, or NHS). Routes 
on the NHS will be eligible for the highest level of federal aid (80 
percent) except for Interstate highways, which continue to have a 
federal share of 90 percent [Section 1006(a)(D)]. 

A subset of rail lines important for national defense and security 
has also been identified, which includes the 38,800-mi strategic rail 
network, or STRACNET, and 5,000 mi of connector lines to military 
installations. The Federal Railroad Administration and MTMC 
jointly identify corridors that are important to the military, and these 
agencies revise and update these designations every 3 years. 

FUTURE ISSUES 

Future mobilizations of U.S. armed forces are likely to affect ports in 
different ways. Issues of concern in future mobilizations regard pro- 
posals to containerize more sustainment and resupply cargo and to 
ship more ammunition and other supplies in the vehicles deployed 
during the unit moves. Before Desert Shield/ Storm, DOT indicated 
that "currently, there is excess port capacity to meet defense transpor- 
tation needs except in one area, the movement of containerized con- 
ventional ammunition" (DOT 1990, 16-10). The DOT report notes 
that the options for addressing this problem included building more 
container-handling capacity at military ports and relying more 
heavily on commercial ports. General Hansford Johnson, the com- 
mander in chief of the U.S. Transportation Command, which was in 
charge of the deployment for Desert Shield /Storm, has indicated that 
a larger share of resupply break-bulk cargo, including ammunition, 
will need to be containerized in future deployments (Containerisation 
International 1991). The military has only one port Sunny Point, 
located near Wilmington, North Carolina that is dedicated to han- 
dling ammunition loaded in containers, 1 and the equipment at this 
port is not state of the art. Other ports that might be used for han- 
dling containerized ammunition are likely to be military facilities, but 
landside impediments might be encountered because many rail lines 
and highways serving military ports cross urbanized areas. Half of the 
ports involved in Desert Shield /Storm report that military traffic 
must use corridors through congested urban areas (Table 6-1). Be- 
cause moving explosives along congested corridors is a sensitive issue, 
those facilities capable of handling such cargo would be limited in 
number and should be selected with great care. 



1 14 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Other pending shifts in defense policy could also affect the ports. 
Most notably, DOD planners are discussing the need to reduce de- 
ployments from the 120 days required for Desert Shield /Storm to 90 
days, and looming cuts in the number of troops could result in sub- 
stantial reductions in forward-based personnel and equipment. Dur- 
ing a future mobilization, more people and materiel will need to move 
more quickly. 

With the military now planning to place greater reliance on the 
containerized transportation of sustainment cargo by private firms 
than it has in the past, military, DOT, and state DOT planners should 
move beyond identifying the highways and rail corridors important to 
the military and assess the adequacy of the intermodal connections 
between strategic highways, rail lines, and the ports likely to be relied 
on for military sealifts. 

OPPORTUNITIES 
Coordinated Planning 

Despite the apparently smooth functioning of the ports during the 
buildup for Desert Storm, continued planning and analysis of port 
landside access will be needed. Local development and infrastructure 
decisions take place independent of considerations about national 
defense or security needs. In a military scenario different from Desert 
Shield/Storm, other ports might be needed for deployment, ports at 
which landside impediments exist. For these reasons, military and 
civilian planners need to have access to and use of analytical tools 
that address the potential throughput of ports, the capacity of access 
corridors at key ports, and the demands that would be placed on 
them under various defense scenarios. 

If proposals to rely more heavily on containers for moving ammu- 
nition proceed, particularly important would be identifying appropri- 
ate corridors and port terminals. For ports deemed suitable for 
handling containerized ammunition, corridors that currently do not 
traverse densely populated areas should be identified and rights-of- 
way conserved to ensure that development does not occur that would 
increase the number of people exposed to risk. 

The understanding gained from these analyses should be part of a 
regular planning process that would identify the need to improve 
access corridors to key ports designated for serving military cargo. 



Defense Deployment 115 



To ensure that state and local governments consider the corridors 
between major highways and ports that are important for national 
security and defense, the federal government should require planners 
at DOD and DOT to continue periodically identifying corridors that 
may be needed for future deployments of troops or military hardware 
and ammunition. 



DOD Funding 

Federal law mandates that surface transportation projects, including 
highways of military significance, be paid for by federal transporta- 
tion funds of the DOT, Defense public highway needs are provided 
for through the Highway Trust Fund. Accordingly, DOD funds are 
not used to support STRAHNET or connector routes. DOD planners 
may identify projects of military significance, but DOD funds are not 
used because DOT funds are designated for this purpose. In contrast, 
some water projects of military significance do receive DOD support. 
In some surface projects of military and national significance, it may 
be appropriate for Congress to consider allowing DOD funding to 
supplement federal highway trust funds. For example, some state or 
local governments may place less priority on funding the state or local 
share of a project that the military believes it needs but that does not 
have specific benefits for the local community; if the military pays for 
the local share, the project is more likely to move forward. 

The committee recommends that Congress consider allowing DOD 
to provide the local share of funding for transportation projects that 
are of military significance but that are not a priority for local 
governments. 

If DOD could help fund roadway projects, however, members of 
Congress in pursuit of federal support for their local highway projects 
might ask that their local routes be designated as militarily signifi- 
cant. Thus, if this provision were incorporated into law, specific 
criteria to help minimize such practice should be incorporated as 
well. 



NOTE 

1 . As used in this chapter, the term "containers" includes other container-like 
equipment such as flat racks and sea sheds. 



116 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



REFERENCES 

ABBREVIATION 

DOT U.S. Department of Transportation 

Containerisation International. 1991. Post Desert Storm Reflections. Vol. 25, 

No. 8, August, pp. 32-40. 

DOT. 1990. National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. March. 
Sherman, R. 1991. Ports in a Desert Storm. Portfolio, Port Authority of New 

York and New Jersey, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer, pp. 38-44. 



7 



Institutional 
Relationships 



For some ports the weakest link in the logistics chain is at their 
back doors, at which congested roads or inadequate rail link- 
ages to marine terminals, and sometimes both, result in delays 
and increased transportation costs. Direct influence over these is- 
sues, however, is often out of the reach of port officials; the respon- 
sibility for road and highway improvement projects resides with a 
city, county, or state government. In the private sector, decisions 
about most rail line investments, with the exception of a few munic- 
ipally owned belt lines, are made by privately owned railroads, and 
decisions about ports-of-call and many terminal investments are 
made by private shipping lines. Reviewed in the first section of this 
chapter are some of the relationships among units of government 
that can inhibit responses to the landside transportation needs of 
ports. Port access problems could be significantly aided by several 
shifts in policy and organizational responsibilities that will occur 
because of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act 
(ISTEA) of 1991. These policy shifts, and the changes in jurisdic- 
tional influence that accompany them, are described. In the second 
section, the role of the private sector in port landside access is 
outlined. Summarized in the final section are opportunities for re- 
sponding to the landside access problems that involve institutional 
issues. 

117 



118 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS 

Port Institutional Status 

The unique institutional arrangement of most ports allows them to 
operate with a great deal of autonomy in the business-oriented setting 
in which they operate, but it may impair their coordination with 
other units of government. Most ports are government-owned enter- 
prises, which gives them a relatively high degree of autonomy from 
other units of government and allows them to operate more or less 
like a business (Olson 1988). The public and enterprise dimensions of 
ports are based on creation and ownership by government and in- 
clude a statutory provision of powers. The enterprise function has 
four features: 

[Expectations of market efficiencies in operations, commercially de- 
fined performance goals, reliance on user fees for operating expenses 
and capital markets for construction funds rather than general govern- 
ment appropriations, and the absence of partisan intervention in its 
operations. (Olson 1988, 310) 

In practice each port is somewhat different and incorporates these 
features in varied degrees. Most public ports (a few are private) oper- 
ate independent of other units of government and for the most part 
focus on the basic goal of moving freight efficiently. In their environ- 
ment of "splendid isolation" ports have had discretion to perform this 
mission with 

economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. . . . Strong executive leadership 
and governing board cooperation helped to continue seaport separa- 
tism from the mainstream of local government politics, economic 
crises and tax revolts. (Shaw 1990, 1) 

As landside constraints build, however, ports find themselves oper- 
ating in a new arena: national and state surface transportation 
policies and programs are carried out by a different set of participants 
than those with whom ports are accustomed to working (Shaw 
1990,2). 

Port institutional affiliations with other units of government are 
quite varied, however, which accounts for the different communica- 
tions and coordination problems of ports from state to state. Port 



Institutional Relationships 119 



affiliations with other units of government vary from having no affil- 
iation (New Haven, Connecticut) to being a department of a city 
government (Los Angeles and Long Beach), to operating autono- 
mously in a separate district (Seattle and Tacoma, Washington), to 
being part of state government (Maryland, Hawaii, Maine, North 
Carolina), to being a state enterprise (Massachusetts Port Authority, 
Virginia Port Authority), to being an agency of more than one state 
(Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Delaware River Port 
Authority) (Olson 1988). These different institutional arrangements 
yield different opportunities and constraints, but, as will be dis- 
cussed, some state governments recognize the economic importance 
of their seaports and are beginning to act to ensure that landside 
congestion problems do not cause their ports to become less competi- 
tive than those in other states. 

As the point at which land, water, and modes of transportation 
intersect, ports have long had a complex set of interactions with 
governmental authorities responsible for water and land transporta- 
tion and natural resource conservation, and among private providers 
of transportation services (Shaw 1984; Shaw 1985). Port relation- 
ships with the federal government have recently undergone funda- 
mental changes due to shifts in federal policy that are outlined in the 
next section. These changes have, in some cases, shifted some respon- 
sibilities to the state level and allowed private firms to make decisions 
independent of the ports that nevertheless directly affect the ports' 
future. Ports find themselves dealing increasingly with problems of 
surface transportation programs and policies "for which they have 
little expertise, authority, responsibility, or power" (Shaw 1990). 
Shifts in federal transportation policy are among the most important 
recent changes affecting ports. Most notably, in December 1991 Con- 
gress passed and the President signed a 6-year reauthorization of the 
federal surface transportation programs. As indicated in specific 
areas addressed in earlier chapters, the policy statements and specific 
provisions of the ISTEA will benefit port access in many ways. In 
terms of the topics covered in this chapter, it will also shift some 
planning and decision-making authority in metropolitan areas from 
states to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). Because 
MPOs tend to be sensitive to the kinds of local pressures from neigh- 
borhood groups, land developers, and environmental groups outlined 
in previous chapters, this shift in authority raises concern about how 
MPOs will balance the needs of transportation projects with the pri- 



1 20 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



orities of these local groups. It certainly indicates that port officials 
must become much more involved in local transportation planning 
and policy making to ensure that their needs are addressed. 



Federal Role 

Unlike other industrialized nations involved in seagoing trade, the 
United States does not have a specific, integrated federal policy on 
ports (Hershman and Kory 1988). The federal government has long 
been involved directly and indirectly in port development, however, 
and policies and practices for waterway development, economic regu- 
lation of transportation, environmental protection, and surface trans- 
portation influence ports in myriad and complex ways. These policies 
are also changing, or evolving over time, and they are having decisive 
effects on many ports. 

Waterway Development 

Since the beginning of the nation, the federal government, acting 
through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), has subsidized 
waterway transportation by building channels, dredging harbors and 
channels, and building harbors with landfill. Some background on 
the development and changing nature of this policy provides a useful 
contrast with federal surface transportation policy. 

President Monroe wanted COE to represent the national interest 
through centralized planning, but Congress rejected this proposal. It 
opted instead for COE to consider waterway projects on a case-by- 
case basis, with authorization for projects made directly by Congress 
(Marine Board 1985). During the nearly ISO years of this practice, 
individual projects were identified, selected, authorized, and funded 
in a complex and lengthy process, which gave individual members of 
Congress a great deal of direct influence (Marine Board 1985, 21), 
While the nation grew, many coastal ports developed, some of which 
were in direct competition with each other; but the piecemeal, ad hoc 
approach to waterway development at the national level avoided any 
federal role in specifying ports of national significance. Ultimately, 
however, the approach was criticized because congressional logrolling 
resulted in specific favors being given to some ports, helping them at 
the expense of their competitors, and because this approach allowed 



Institutional Relationships 121 



inefficient investments of national resources on projects of only local 
significance that is, it led to pork-barrel politics (Ferejohn 1974). 

Partly because of budgetary pressures on discretionary spending 
and partly because of efforts to impose executive branch perspectives 
on inefficiencies in public and private investment, the Carter and 
Reagan administrations intervened in this long-standing federal- 
COE-local port process. President Carter vetoed bills containing 
western water projects and coastal dredging projects because he was 
concerned about their excessive expense. During the Reagan adminis- 
tration, ports were required to begin sharing the cost of harbor and 
channel dredging. The requirement of local contributions to dredging 
favors ports with greater natural geographic advantages and eco- 
nomic activity: either they tend to need no dredging or they can 
generate enough revenue to invest in the local share. Ports that re- 
quire substantial dredging or have less economic activity were disad- 
vantaged by this shift in federal policy. 

Economic Regulation of Transportation 

Other shifts in federal policy have directly affected ports and further 
altered the competitive balance among them. The deregulation of 
trucking, rail, and shipping lines has fundamentally altered the regu- 
latory oversight that the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ex- 
ercised over trucking and rail companies as well as the protection the 
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) exercised to help ensure that 
ports received cargo sent to or from their natural hinterlands. 

For-hire transportation companies, with minimal regulatory over- 
sight, now determine how and where they operate and how much 
they charge for their services. In such an environment, intermodal 
companies have focused their activities on a smaller number of ports 
in order to achieve economies of scale and scope and thereby offer 
attractive rates to shippers. In addition, the substantial deregulation 
of surface freight modes marked an end to such regulatory policies as 
rate equalization, whereby the ICC had regulated land transport 
freight rates to equalize the cost of moving freight within the geo- 
graphic ranges of ports. Without such requirements, carriers have 
been able to put together rate and service packages that are market- 
driven rather than being artificially constrained to use specific ports. 

From 1920 to 1978, FMC had assured ports that they had a right 
to the cargo destined to or from their hinterlands. Since 1978, how- 



122 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



ever, FMC has not protected the ports in this regard (Hershman and 
Kory 1988, 105). In a series of rulings based on the latitude given to 
shippers in the Shipping Act of 1984, FMC has allowed carriers to 
offer land-bridge services and has rejected port arguments about their 
rights to cargo from their natural hinterlands. Shippers and transpor- 
tation providers seeking efficiencies and competitive advantages are 
no longer constrained to use specific ports, and ports with fewer 
natural advantages have become less competitive. 1 Thus, though 
there is no specific federal port policy, the effect of policies such as 
these has been to facilitate competition among the existing ports, and 
marketplace conditions have tended to favor steamship lines that 
concentrate their calls at fewer ports. 

The competition among ports fostered by these rulings can be 
viewed as a de facto federal policy, one quite consistent with federal 
policies in other economic spheres. Encouraging competition has 
long been believed to result in service-oriented ports that try to con- 
trol costs and innovate in order to gain advantage over their rivals. 

The competition among ports is intensified, however, by the 
economic development efforts of some states and cities to invest in 
port development on a speculative basis, which results in an over- 
supply of capacity. Oversupply leads to below-cost pricing of some 
port facilities and to criticism by environmentalists of investments 
that are "wasteful, unnecessarily destroying wetlands and expend- 
ing funds on redundant facilities" (Kagan 1990). Despite leading 
to excessive investment in some instances, the committee believes 
that competition among ports has helped ensure that there is ade- 
quate capacity for the efficient movement of interstate cargo. In 
any event, given the long history of the federal government in 
avoiding centralized planning in the allocation of resources, port 
competition will occur and bring with it the attendant advantages 
and disadvantages. 

Environmental Protection 

Federal policies for environmental protection were described in 
Chapter 5. Worth noting in this discussion is that as the federal poli- 
cies on waterways development and economic regulation illustrate a 
reduced federal role on ports, environmental policies illustrate in- 
creased federal constraints on port activities (Hershman and Bittner 
1988). 



Institutional Relationships 123 



State Role 

The absence of a federal port policy has left the development and 
promotion of individual ports to the states and localities. Many states 
are active promoters and supporters of their ports; nevertheless, not 
all ports are accustomed to working with state and local transporta- 
tion agencies. 

Financial Support 

State policies that affect ports are many and varied, as are the rela- 
tionships of individual ports with their states. Some ports are com- 
pletely independent of state government; others are quite integrated. 
Ports in states such as Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, 
North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia operate 
as parts of statewide port authorities. In most other states, ports 
operate as either individual port authorities or bistate authorities. 
Some states Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, and Virginia, for 
example also have general transportation trust funds that are used 
for investments in all modes. Many states provide funds to their ports 
through their state transportation agency; they include Hawaii, Illi- 
nois, Louisiana, Maine, New York, and Wisconsin. 

Regardless of how ports are related to their states, 26 of the 41 
states on navigable waterways helped fund landside port facilities and 
cargo terminals during the 1977-1986 period, and 20 helped fund 
construction of access roadways and rail spurs (AASHTO 1987). 
Thus, it appears that many states are involved in promoting their 
ports and resolving landside access problems. 

The state funds invested in landside facilities during this time totaled 
$1.4 billion. About half of the funds were provided by the sale of gen- 
eral obligation bonds, which are backed by the state treasury but usu- 
ally repaid by the ports. About a quarter of the funds were raised 
through general taxes and paid for out the state's general fund. The sale 
of revenue bonds funded about 15 percent of these investments (al- 
though subsequent changes in federal tax policy greatly reduced this 
option). These bonds are often backed by the state but paid for out of 
port revenues. Maryland was the only state during this period to pay 
for a substantial amount of port development out of the state's trans- 
portation trust fund ($117 million). Toll revenues, user charges, pri- 
vate investments, and state lotteries funded the rest of these projects. 



124 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



State Transportation Agencies 

Many ports experience deficiencies in highways and roads serving 
them but have neither the funds nor the authority to make the needed 
improvements. In the past, and until the specific changes required by 
the ISTEA take effect, one of two problems has arisen when a port 
proposes that state transportation department funds be spent to make 
the improvements: either the state transportation department, when 
comparing these proposals with other demands on its budget, has not 
ranked them high enough to warrant the investment or the improve- 
ments are found to be ineligible for state or federal highway funds and 
that has been given as the reason not to carry them out. With the 
passage of the ISTEA, planning and budgeting for transportation capi- 
tal needs in urbanized areas will be determined to a much larger extent 
byMPOs. 

Among the ports visited by the U.S. Department of Transportation 
(DOT) study team, the Port of Charleston appeared to have the least 
success in obtaining state transportation funds. Officials there stated 
that the state legislature's policy of distributing highway funds evenly 
across the state made that body unsympathetic to any kind of costly 
highway project in an urban area. Other ports experience some diffi- 
culties working with their states. For example, during the site visit to a 
port on the Mississippi River, a state transportation official stated that 
the port is not a constituent of the state transportation agency because 
it does not contribute to the Highway Trust Fund. (Of course, the 
trucks serving the terminals do pay state road user taxes.) At the other 
extreme, New Orleans port officials have achieved a high degree of 
cooperation with state officials and have succeeded in getting the im- 
provements they want. Some port officials in Texas and in California 
also indicated close coordination with their state transportation 
departments. 

Other ports visited by the DOT study teams indicated mixed success 
in obtaining funds for access improvements. Toledo port officials have 
worked with local authorities to develop a master transportation plan 
and have secured agreement that a new highway river crossing, costing 
from $100 million to $300 million, should receive the highest priority. 
But state support for the project is not ensured. Port officials speak of 
turning to toll revenues to make up for any lack of state support. 

Although the ports of Tacoma and Seattle operate as autono- 
mous entities, the Washington State Department of Transportation 



Institutional Relationships 1 25 



(WSDOT) recognizes the importance of these ports to the state's 
economy and has addressed port needs in statewide transportation 
capital planning. In 1985 and 1991 WSDOT participated with the 
Washington Public Ports Association in a statewide analysis of the 
ports and transportation systems necessary to support freight move- 
ments in the future. The 1985 report concluded that the ports have 
good access to major state and Interstate highways, although these 
routes are congested during periods of peak demand (TAMS 1985). 
The 1991 study addressed all modes of the total transportation sys- 
tem, public and private. Although Washington State port access is 
found to be good generally, access constraints are identified (Belyea et 
al. 1992). Improvement projects are under way for these access con- 
straints, and other improvements to the functioning of the system are 
recommended. 

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are units of local govern- 
ment, which implies that they have some additional influence over 
local street improvements, but local streets still present landside con- 
straints because some streets belong to other municipalities. Trucks 
must compete with local traffic, and the at-grade rail lines that inter- 
sect local streets often result in long delays for motorists. The San 
Pedro Bay ports, however, have presented a compelling case of the 
need to resolve their problems. As a result, the state transportation 
commission (with staff assistance provided by the ports) issued a 
report recognizing their needs and suggested that some local streets 
can and should be considered eligible for state funding (California 
Transportation Commission 1990). In addition, the area govern- 
ments have banded together with the ports to form a joint powers 
authority to build a dedicated rail-highway corridor (the Alameda 
Corridor) connecting the ports to Interstate highways and intermodal 
terminals (Hicks 1991). The progress made on this project has been 
due largely to a considerable degree of cooperation between the ports 
and the local and state governments. The main issues still to be 
resolved include how to fund the $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion project; 
how much to compensate the Southern Pacific Railroad, which owns 
the right-of-way for the rail line in the Alameda Corridor; and how to 
gain the cooperation of neighborhoods and communities to allow the 
Alameda Corridor to be made eligible for state and federal funds. 
Recent reports indicate that whereas the state has supported the Al- 
ameda project in concept, state funds have not been equally forth- 
coming (Traffic World 1991b). 



126 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Some states have taken an active role in responding to port landside 
access needs. About 40 percent of the ports in the American Associa- 
tion of Port Authorities ( AAPA) survey indicate that their state trans- 
portation agencies usually or always coordinate activities such as 
road construction with them, but 20 percent of the respondents say 
their states rarely or never do so (Table 7-1). Some state DOTs have 
unified transportation trust funds that collect all user fees into a single 
pool; these funds give them considerable flexibility in funding specific 
transportation projects, especially in states in which funding deci- 
sions are reached administratively rather than legislatively. Florida 
also has begun to establish a separate fund to address access 
problems. 

The Virginia Port Authority has jurisdiction over all five terminals 
in the Hampton Roads area, and in 1986 the Virginia General Assem- 



TABLE 7-1 Institutional Issues Identified in AAPA Survey 



All Ports 
(if = 54) 



Container Ports 
(n = 25) 



All Other 

(n = 29) 



Issue 



No. Percent No. Percent No. Percent 



State DOT 
coordinates with 
port 

Usually or 

always 22 41 10 40 12 41 

Sometimes 13 24 9 36 4 14 

Rarely or never 10 20 6 24 4 17 

MPOs or regional 
agencies serve 
coordinating 
function for ports 

Yes 26 48 16 64 10 34 

No 17 31 5 25 12 41 

Yes, but not 

effective 6 11 2 8 4 14 

Port staff person 
coordinates port 
access needs with 
state and local 
agency 31 57 16 64 15 52 



Institutional Relationships 127 



bly created a unified transportation trust fund, which also established 
annual allocations for each mode. The highway access needs of 
Hampton Roads terminals appear to have been considered in several 
highway improvements currently under way by the Virginia DOT. 
For the long run (2010 and beyond) the Virginia Port Authority 
believes that additional improvements will be needed to expand the 
capacity of the Interstates serving the ports. These needs, though 
expensive, are reflected in the state DOT's long-range plans. The 
multiple demands for funding and the revenue difficulties of many 
states, however, suggest that funding for many of these improvements 
will be difficult to obtain. 

Some of the difficulties that ports face in working with other trans- 
portation agencies of local and state government on the land side may 
relate to the completely different set of arrangements that have ex- 
isted historically on the water side. Throughout the history of the 
United States, the executive branch has had little influence over port 
development, and despite the more recent interjections of federal 
authority to control the cost of dredging projects, the ports have 
traditionally worked directly with their congressional delegations to 
promote projects in their interest. On the land side, the process is an 
administrative one with a great deal of shared influence and control 
at different levels of government. 

Federal Highway Aid. To grasp the broader context of approving 
and funding highway projects, one must look first at the traditional 
institutional arrangements that existed (up until recent changes 
adopted in the ISTEA) for financing and making decisions about 
highway investments in the United States. Although the federal gov- 
ernment has taken a leadership role in surface transportation policy, 
the programs and the funds are administered by the states. For this 
reason the federal role is treated in this discussion. 

The federal-aid highway program is financed through fuel taxes 
and other highway user fees, which generate revenues for the High- 
way Trust Fund. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a 
DOT agency, administers the federal-aid highway program. FHWA, 
however, does not make direct investments in highways; money from 
the Highway Trust Fund is apportioned among the states. There are 
different matching ratios of federal and state funds for each of the 
federal-aid systems that existed before passage of the ISTEA: the 
Interstate, the primary, the secondary, and the urban. The systems 



1 28 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



have been designated by FHWA, working with the states, and are 
quite specific. Any section of road in the country is on one or the 
other of the four systems, or it is on none of them (e.g. , a local street). 
With the exception of rehabilitating or rebuilding bridges, a project 
must have been on one of these systems if it is to be eligible for federal 
funds. The ISTEA changes the federal-aid categories to just three: the 
National Highway System, which is to be 155,000 mi of primary 
interstate highways (including the 44,000-mi Interstate system); the 
Surface Transportation Program, which includes all nonprimary 
highways except local streets and rural collector roads; and the Bridge 
Program. Under the Bridge Program, a state selects the bridge proj- 
ects it chooses to finance with federal aid, using a funding formula 
established for the program. 

The amount to be apportioned annually among the states for each 
of these systems is fixed in the highway authorization bills that Con- 
gress enacts, typically every 2 or 4 years. The apportionment for- 
mulas for the various systems are also set by Congress; they are not 
often changed. Federal money may not be used to pay for the total 
cost of a project. The states must contribute a share of the cost. 
Under the old programs, the state shares were 10 percent on the 
Interstate, 25 percent on the other systems, and 20 percent for 
bridges. Under the ISTEA, the state shares are 20 percent for all 
routes except the Interstates, which remain at 10 percent. 

Federal-aid funding categories establish the boundaries within 
which a state operates. The amount of funds that a state receives each 
year for each system is fixed by statute. Eligibility, or the criteria for 
the projects for which the funds may be used, is fixed by the system 
designations set forth by FHWA. By design, it is an arrangement in 
which the federal government has virtually no part in project selec- 
tion. Under the old programs, the state highway department, typ- 
ically lodged in a state DOT in which it is by far the dominant agency, 
has made the decisions about highway investment. As mentioned, the 
ISTEA gives MPOs in urbanized areas a much larger role than they 
had before. 

The use of federal money does impose some requirements on the 
states. Any project that uses federal funds must meet federal stan- 
dards and follow federal procedures. There are engineering standards 
and environmental standards. For projects in urban areas, there are 
planning requirements designed to ensure that the highway depart- 
ment's decisions are coordinated with a metropolitan planning pro- 



Institutional Relationships 129 



cess. Not only must these various requirements and standards be met, 
but federal-aid projects must receive FHWA approval. The exceptions 
would be "demonstration projects," which are authorized by Con- 
gress directly. 

FHWA's concern, however, is with procedural, environmental, and 
design standards and with the engineering integrity of a project. It is 
the state highway departments that develop the projects from concep- 
tion to construction. In general, FHWA does not use its approval 
authority to interfere with the states' highway investment priorities. 
In the normal course of administering the highway program, it has 
not been the FHWA's role to tell a state highway department to give 
special preference to projects that would be useful to ports or to any 
other class of projects. 

For anyone coming new to the workings of the federal highway 
program, it is important to understand that the state's role as the key 
decision maker has been the fundamental political agreement that 
underlies the program. It is not a feature that evolved in a manner 
incidental to some larger goal; it has always been there. If anything, 
given the provisions of the ISTEA, the discretion and flexibility 
accorded the states in determining highway project eligibility will 
increase, although they will share this with MPOs in urbanized areas. 

The ISTEA gives MPOs considerably more authority in urbanized 
areas with populations of 200,000 or more. In these larger cities, 
MPOs will develop short- and long-range capital plans, and the 
MPOs will select projects in consultation with their state DOTs. In 
urbanized areas with populations of 50,000 to 200,000, the state 
DOT will select projects in consultation with the MPO. For cities 
with populations of fewer than 50,000, the state role in project 
selection continues more or less as before. In the paragraphs that 
follow, the leadership role that states have in the federal-aid high- 
way program is described in terms of the arrangements that existed 
until the passage of the ISTEA in 1991. It should be understood 
that after that time the states' role in larger urbanized areas has 
been reduced by the ISTEA; MPOs have been given the primary 
role in project selection. 

One more aspect of the current institutional arrangements should 
be mentioned. A number of states, particularly the larger ones, dis- 
tribute some of the federal-aid money and occasionally some of their 
own money to local governments. In these states, the highway depart- 
ment will be directly responsible for projects on the state road system 



130 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



but will leave project selection involving other roads to local authori- 
ties, usually at the county level in a nonurbanized area. Thus, the 
pattern in which the higher level of government hands on highway 
funds and responsibility to the lower levels recurs in state-to-county 
and state-to-city transfers. For the balance of this section a state 
transportation agency, the state legislature, or a highway commission 
is the decision maker, but in some states an agency of local govern- 
ment may make the decisions. 

Operating in such a setting, a state highway department pursues its 
course, reflecting the political arena in which it must work and its 
own views of what the best highway projects are. State highway 
departments are largely staffed and run by civil engineers. They do 
not usually carry out the kind of formal economic analysis that, for 
example, the COE performs for navigation, flood control, or other 
civil works projects. They will, however, be concerned with reducing 
congestion, improving safety, and preserving the system in good phys- 
ical condition, and they will try to meet all these objectives in design- 
ing projects. Inevitably, the design process will have both analytical 
and political components. 

As noted, a port authority that tries to inject itself into this process 
and seek approval for a highway project may find itself rebuffed, 
generally for one of two reasons. Either the project has not been on a 
federal-aid system or the state decision-making body did not rank the 
project high enough to include it in its program. These reasons need 
not be mutually exclusive. 

Stated another way, ineligibility for federal aid is not always a 
sufficient reason to reject a project. Whether it is depends on the 
amount of highway money available to the state from its own re- 
sources to match the federal money apportioned to it. The federal 
money a state receives each year imposes a minimum level of spend- 
ing; it is "use-it-or-lose-it" money. If a state does not come forward 
within a specified time with projects and matching money to exhaust 
its apportionment, the unclaimed part returns to FHWA. Because the 
state will thereby lose federal funds, this does not happen often. 

If a state's highway money is enough to provide only its share, often 
called the match, then it is restricted to projects, federally approved, 
and ineligibility is enough to make a project unacceptable. However, 
if the state's resources exceed the required match, then the state has 
the flexibility to invest in projects without federal aid, and inel- 
igibility is not an insuperable obstacle. Many, but by no means all, 



Institutional Relationships 131 



states can spend more for highway projects than is required to match 
trust fund apportionments; they are "overmatching." When a state is 
overmatching, ineligibility is an excuse, not a reason, for rejecting a 
project desired by a port. 

Obstacles to Funding. It is useful to set aside the eligibility issue 
and consider the two other reasons for which a state's failure to 
embrace a port's proposal may be appropriate. The first is the one in 
which the state's rejection of the port improvement project is a correct 
economic decision. There might be enough projects, with net eco- 
nomic benefit greater than the port's project, to exhaust the state's 
investment budget. If true, the decision to exclude the port project is 
in the best interests of the state as a whole. 

The second case is the one in which the investment sought by the 
port does, indeed, have the economic merit to justify its inclusion in 
the state's program. Here there is a real problem. The possible causes 
for the state's rejection may fall into one or another, or some combi- 
nation, of the following categories: 

Politics. The port authority's influence with the state highway 
decision-makers may be so slight in comparison with other interests 
that seek projects that a port improvement project never receives 
serious consideration. The state's funds are exhausted in meeting the 
demands of more powerful claimants. Alternatively, a project may 
find its way onto a long-range capital plan but never be given suffi- 
cient priority to move forward. 

Procedures. Port officials may be unfamiliar with the operations 
of the state highway development process and thus fail to make their 
case at the right time or in the right way to be considered in the state's 
routine project selection procedures. The port's project then appears 
as extraneous to the selection process and does not receive thorough 
consideration. 

Communication. In some way, port officials may fail to convey 
sufficient information to highway decision makers on the benefits 
they expect to flow from the project in question. Senior port officials 
are professionals who are often oriented to promotion and market- 
ing; a major part of their task is to sell their ports' services in intense 
competition with other ports. Highway decision makers are typically 
legislators or professionals, or both, who represent the community by 
serving on boards of highway commissions; their project priorities 



1 32 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



reflect those of their constituents. If the port is unable to convey its 
project priorities and their economic benefits to these decision 
makers, there is little chance that these projects will be advanced. 
Highway departments, on the other hand, are staffed and managed 
almost entirely by civil engineers, men and women trained in the 
methodical evaluation of projects using objective data for criteria: 
traffic counts, accident rates, delays due to congestion, and so forth. 
Part of the communications problem arises from the divergent points 
of view and backgrounds of the participants seeking to influence the 
highway planning process. 

Misjudgment. The highway officials may have all the relevant 
information, consider it fully, and conclude that a project desired by 
the port is not worthy of funding, even though objective outside 
analysts would reach a different conclusion. 

These kinds of problems raise some concern about the ability of 
ports to obtain funding for projects that may be of national impor- 
tance because they serve interstate and international commerce or 
because they are of military value but that may not be given priority 
when local and state funding decisions are made. 

Changes in federal surface transportation policy in the ISTEA place 
even greater significance on local decision making. Even before the 
ISTEA, MPOs provided some coordination functions; 48 percent of 
the respondents to the AAPA survey indicate that coordination exis- 
ted, but they give no indication of the quality of that coordination 
(Table 7-1). However, 31 percent indicate that the MPOs are not 
involved, and 11 percent indicate that their MPOs are involved but 
ineffective. The future decisions that MPOs will make about the 
eligibility of port access routes for state and federal aid will be impor- 
tant. Neighborhood groups concerned about noise, environmental 
groups opposed to transportation projects, and land developers inter- 
ested more in commercial than port development of waterfront land 
have the potential to have greater influence on projects that could 
benefit ports than they have had in the past. In this context, 

increasing America's valuation of efficient intermodal transportation 
seems all the more difficult because of a political system in which 
nationally important infrastructure development decisions are made 
locally, influenced by legal and political institutions that focus atten- 
tion primarily on local interests and preferences. (Kagan 1990, 177) 



Institutional Relationships 133 



Many ports are trying to communicate their needs to local 
groups and to influence local decisions. More than half of the 
ports (57 percent) indicate that they have a staff person assigned 
to coordinate port access needs with state and local transportation 
authorities (Table 7-1). The survey does not indicate, however, 
whether these staff are high enough in status to influence the 
outcome of local decisions or whether the groups with which they 
coordinate are actually decision-making bodies. As Kagan (1990) 
concludes from examining the difficulties in port development in 
the decentralized and adversarial governmental mode in the United 
States, new governmental methods are needed to help reconcile the 
conflicting and competing interests of various groups. At the time 
of this writing, the ISTEA goal of making existing government 
institutions more intermodal has been stated but not yet realized. 
Federal, state, and local transportation agencies are only just be- 
ginning to grapple with intermodal transportation. 



PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS 

During the mid-1 800s, when the railroads were the only mecha- 
nized form of interstate land transportation, most ports were actu- 
ally owned or controlled by individual railroads (Hershman and 
Bittner 1988, 39). Most bulk terminals are still owned by individ- 
ual railroads, but most general cargo terminals have come under 
the control of public authorities. 

The specific impediments to rail access were discussed in Chap- 
ter 3; in summary, they have the effect of increasing the time and 
cost of moving goods to and from the docks of a particular port. 
For shipping lines, the quality of highways, port terminals, and 
rail access all play a part in decisions about which ports will 
receive calls. 

In dealing with railroads and steamship lines, ports must re- 
spond to a different set of issues than when working with govern- 
ment transportation agencies (private-sector issues in terminal 
operating efficiency are also discussed in Chapter 8). It is not a 
matter of convincing a firm that a particular action or investment 
is in society's interest; it is a matter of determining whether the 
investment will be profitable in comparison with other invest- 
ments. At first glance, there ought to be a high degree of congruity 



134 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



between the port's interests and those of the railroads and shipping 
lines: the port wants more traffic, and, presumably, so do the 
private firms. If an action to bring more traffic were to involve 
significant costs for the railroad, then one would expect a diver- 
gence of interests. Alternatively, ports may find themselves com- 
peting with each other to attract rail service from the same 
railroad; in this case, it is not just the infrastructure constraints 
that influence the investment decision of the railroad, although 
they surely play a part. 

In some instances, rail access improvements can be made by the 
railroad or a terminal can be built by a shipping line, and the issue is 
one of simple economics. The firm will make the investment if it is 
profitable in comparison with other opportunities for investment. 
Often, however, the resolution of access problems is also outside the 
control of the private sector, although private firms may be able to 
contribute to the cost of improvements. Thus to return to the dis- 
cussion of government transportation agencies port officials may 
find themselves seeking the cooperation and funding of local and 
state authorities to solve bottlenecks to landside access, recognizing 
that the railroad or shipping line may shift its investments elsewhere if 
these problems cannot be solved. 



OPPORTUNITIES 

The opportunities for reducing the institutional barriers between 
ports and surface transportation providers would be facilitated by the 
options that follow. 



Federal Role 

The ability of ports to influence state and local transportation author- 
ities and to overcome a predominance of local perspectives would be 
enhanced by a careful and continuing assessment of port access prob- 
lems and possible solutions to these problems. The ISTEA makes a 
major step in this direction. The bill states that it is national transpor- 
tation policy for the national intermodal system to "provide improved 
access to ports and airports, the Nation's link to world commerce." 
The bill also requires MPOs and states to include port access needs in 



Institutional Relationships 135 



their transportation planning. Besides setting forth requirements for 
more comprehensive planning, the bill also allows states and MPOs 
to spend a larger proportion of federal aid on planning; such spend- 
ing was based on a formula allocation in previous legislation. 

As the ISTEA shifts the locus of decision making toward states and 
MPOs, it remains important for the federal government to communi- 
cate the national interest in routes that are critical for the movement 
of interstate and international commerce. The committee recom- 
mends that the Office of Intermodalism ensure that studies are con- 
ducted periodically on the port access routes important to interstate 
and international commerce and national defense and that this infor- 
mation is conveyed to state and local officials responsible for funding 
decisions and to all parties concerned about the improvement of these 
routes. 

Increased federal support for local and state assessment of port ac- 
cess needs could help develop a better data base for identifying projects 
and for improving local transportation planning to facilitate cargo 
movements. A 1992 Transportation Research Board report found that 
the major gap in DOT data collection is data on the origin, destination, 
and mode of freight flows (TRB 1992). It also noted that data collec- 
tion is a low-profile activity in the federal government, one without 
many champions. The committee recommends that the Office of Inter- 
modalism advocate the importance of intermodal freight transporta- 
tion and that it strongly encourage the new Bureau of Transportation 
Statistics in DOT to make its highest priority the redressing of serious 
shortcomings in intermodal freight flow data. 

The eligibility criteria for federal aid in the ISTEA as implied in 
Sections 1006(d) and 1007(b) are quite broad; the intent of the legis- 
lation is to give greater flexibility to local and state officials in meet- 
ing intermodal transportation needs. Thus, it appears that dedicated 
freight corridors such as the Alameda Corridor project, as well as 
highway-railroad grade separation projects that are required for such 
corridors, will be eligible for funding if the roads are classified by the 
MPOs or states as part of either the National Highway System or the 
Surface Transportation System. In this regard port officials should be 
working directly with their MPOs to ensure that their access routes 
are considered for classification under these systems. A proposed 
classification of all highways is to be presented to the Congress by 
December 1993; until then ports can recommend that routes impor- 
tant to them be designated as part of one of these systems. 



136 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



The bill also greatly eases restrictions on toll facilities on federal- 
aid routes and the potential uses of toll revenues. Not only are prohi- 
bitions on tolls lifted (with the exception of the Interstates), but the 
revenues from such facilities are eligible for any activity also eligible 
under the provisions of the ISTEA once commitments to debt service 
and adequate maintenance have been met [Section 1012(a)(3)]. 

The emphasis on these kinds of administrative procedures is con- 
sistent with the committee's view that the federal role should be one 
of communicating to state and local officials, and to the public at 
large, the national priority of certain projects (regarding interstate 
and international commerce and security) and one of giving local and 
port officials incentives and additional flexibility for making these 
investments. The intent is not to identify ports that are of a greater 
national priority than others. To t' contrary, in the committee's 
judgment the decentralized and competitive port system that has 
evolved in the absence of centralized port planning has benefited 
interstate commerce. With surface transportation policies shifting far- 
ther toward local and state influence, however, it is important to 
identify and communicate the federal interest and to give localities 
options that will serve their interests as well. 

Relying on administrative procedures, as opposed to political 
agreements, helps reduce concerns about the pork-barrel approach 
that has caused a long-standing criticism of the selection and funding 
of some waterside projects. If projects were identified and assessed 
according to specific criteria, projects of only local significance would 
have a lesser chance of being funded. 

One of the basic engineering criteria that FHWA uses in determin- 
ing project eligibility for federal aid is the number of vehicles expected 
to use a facility. Many port access routes generate substantial truck 
traffic but may not carry the large number of passenger vehicles 
characteristic of federal-aid routes. Rather than simply rely on traffic 
counts to determine the eligibility of a route for federal aid, FHWA 
should develop criteria based on the importance of routes for inter- 
state commerce and national competitiveness and a favorable benefit- 
cost ratio. 

Adequate funding for port access improvements either landside 
or operational improvements that would reduce the demands placed 
on the landside system is a major issue. In theory individual ports 
can impose user charges to help fund specific projects, but in practice 
the competition among ports is such that port managements are un- 



Institutional Relationships 137 



willing to impose such fees for fear that they will lose cargo to their 
competitors. The competition among ports is so keen that many ports 
accept lower land leases and wharfage fees than they wish to earn in 
order to outbid rival ports (Dowd 1988, 219). 

The success and growth of other modes highways and aviation, 
in particular is partly due to the establishment of a federal trust fund 
in which the users of the system are taxed directly and the revenues 
reinvested in the system. Shippers using the ports are already taxed by 
the federal government, for customs and for dredging fees, but these 
funds are not all placed in a trust fund. Customs revenues become 
part of the general fund, and dredging fees are placed in the Harbor 
Maintenance Fund, which the COE uses for dredging projects. 

The concept of a federally imposed tax is appealing because a 
single charge could be imposed on all users of ports, which would 
offset the inability or unwillingness of individual ports to impose their 
own landside access fee. In principle, a trust fund would operate as 
follows: a small tax placed on the users of the ports generates revenue 
for port landside access improvements, and these funds are used to 
match other federal and state sources in investments in facilities, 
including investments to compensate for effects on the environment, 
that reduce landside bottlenecks. A federal tax solves this problem, 
but it raises other difficult issues. 

The toughest question appears to be which form of taxation to use. 
A flat tax on the tonnage or volume of freight would most directly 
impose a charge on the user of the transportation system. However, 
many cargoes are of low cost per ton, and some, such as lumber, 
grain, and coal, are important export products whose demand on 
world markets is sensitive to small changes in price. Taxing these 
commodities is likely to be difficult politically. Taxing the value of 
freight, or diverting customs fees from the general fund to a trust 
fund, would shift the tax to commodities that are less price-sensitive, 
but it would also shift the bulk of the taxation to container ports, 
because most high-value goods are shipped in containers. A similar 
problem emerged when the harbor maintenance fees were proposed; 
the battle over this question was divisive and required several years of 
often bitter negotiation (Hershman and Kory 1988, 107). By taxing 
the value of freight, the container ports would, in effect, provide 
revenues for a fund that could be used to solve the access problems of 
their competitors. This could result in inefficient cross subsidies if the 
political price for obtaining a trust fund required an equal distribu- 



138 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



tion of revenues to ports around the country. The resolution to this 
problem depends on finding a fee system that would raise sufficient 
revenues to address landside access needs and that would return the 
revenues to the ports that generated them. 

Another problem without a simple solution is that of the diversion 
of freight to competitive ports in Canada. The harbor maintenance 
tax, for example, already causes some high- value freight in the 
Northeast to move through Canadian ports rather than through U.S. 
ports (Aylward 1991; DiBenedetto 1992). Because of trade agree- 
ments with Canada, it is not practical to impose a border-crossing fee 
to equalize the harbor maintenance tax. The ports of the Northwest 
are also very close to competitive ports in Canada. 

Although this proposal for a federal landside access fee involves 
some difficulties, it deserves further study and consideration. It may 
be one way of overcoming the persistent problem of inadequate local 
funds to match federal transportation funds. The Office of Inter- 
modalism should ensure that a study is carried out on the feasibility 
of this proposal. 

State Role 

Ports not situated in urbanized areas might have greater influence 
with landside transportation decisions at the state level if they had 
formal mechanisms for working with state transportation agencies. 
Such mechanisms appear to be needed at both the technical and 
policy levels. Several states have developed different ways of consider- 
ing and giving priority to port access needs. These mechanisms could 
be studied to determine those that are most effective. State multi- 
modal trust funds, such as those in Louisiana, Maryland, and Vir- 
ginia, give ports greater influence at the state level by providing a 
dedicated source of funds. The committee recommends that states 
consider establishing multimodal transportation trust funds in order 
to provide a funding source for port access needs. 

States could also require regional transportation and environmen- 
tal planning agencies to coordinate with ports. Although individual 
ports may not have benefited as much as they had wanted, as a group, 
the San Francisco Bay Area ports have benefited from the efforts of 
the Bay Conservation Development Commission and the Metropoli- 
tan Transportation Commission (see Chapter 5); this example sug- 
gests a model approach. 



Institutional Relationships 139 



Regional and Local Roles 

At the local or regional level, transportation planners will be required 
by the ISTEA to give more detailed consideration to freight transpor- 
tation needs than they have in the past. Besides requiring that specific 
attention be paid to port access needs, the legislation requires the 
assessment of "methods to enhance the efficient movement of freight" 
[Section 1024(f)(7) and (11)]. The intent is clearly one of fostering an 
intermodal approach. Aside from including "intermodal" in the tide 
of the bill, the ISTEA requires the MPOs to develop long-range plans 
that identify needs and capital resources for "transportation facilities 
(including but not limited to major roadways, transit, and multi- 
modal and intermodal facilities) that should function as an integrated 
metropolitan transportation system, giving emphasis to those facili- 
ties that serve important national and regional transportation func- 
tions" [Section 1024(g)(2)(A)]. 

State and local governments as well as port officials can take sev- 
eral steps to facilitate landside access to maritime industries. As re- 
quired by the ISTEA, freight transportation needs should be given 
more detailed consideration when routes are designated as eligible for 
federal and state assistance and in assigning priorities for funding. 
This recommendation should be applied immediately in the identi- 
fication of routes eligible for the National Highway System, which is 
to include the Interstates and other major primary highways. This 
system, to be funded at the highest level, is to be defined by FHWA 
with the assistance of the states and MPOs and presented to Congress 
by December 1993. States and MPOs should also include freight 
transportation facilities in the development of their intermodal trans- 
portation facility plans. 



Port Role 

Some ports may need for their top port officials to invest more time 
and energy in local, state, and federal surface transportation planning 
and policy making. Although many port officials already actively 
market the importance of their ports to their local and regional econ- 
omies, such efforts will continue to be needed to influence highway 
transportation investments, especially in light of the greater promi- 
nence given to MPOs in local decision making by the ISTEA and the 



140 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



requirements for the new federal-aid system designations to be made 
within 2 years after passage of the act. 

Because of the ISTEA's new emphasis on MPOs for planning and 
decision making, combined with statewide intermodal planning re- 
quirements, port officials should become much more involved in the 
planning activities of their MPOs and state DOTs. The act indicates 
that MPOs should include elected officials, appropriate state offi- 
cials, and officials of local transportation agencies. This indicates 
that port officials can be directly involved in their MPOs, as they 
already are in some states and metropolitan areas. For example, to 
ensure the consideration of freight transportation needs, Washington 
State recently required MPOs in the state to include a port official on 
their boards. Port officials should seize these opportunities to ensure 
that (a) their access routes are considered for inclusion in the designa- 
tion of the National Highway System and (b) their MPOs conform to 
the intermodal freight transportation planning requirements of the 
ISTEA, which includes providing for port access routes. As state and 
local officials deal with the intermodal requirements of the ISTEA, 
port officials should take the initiative to make sure intermodal 
freight transportation needs are included. 

Ports can also take a leadership role in showing MPO and state 
transportation planners how alternative investments in port facilities 
can reduce the demands on already-congested highways. Greater 
state or local funds invested in grade separation projects or, on a 
larger scale, a dedicated transportation corridor may improve rail 
access and reduce the demand for highway transportation or shift 
truck operations from residential streets onto separate facilities. Al- 
ternatively, investments to improve barge shipments may allow com- 
modities that had been transported partly by land to move by water. 
Such investments will become more and more important as the ability 
of local and state governments to expand highway capacity dimin- 
ishes in the future, and they are more likely to be supported by federal 
aid given the increased flexibility in funding provided by the ISTEA. 

Local elected officials should also be reminded of the impor- 
tance of ports to local jobs and businesses, of the importance of 
double-stack rail service to modern container ports, and of the 
mobility of private investments in the deregulated era. Port offi- 
cials should be actively educating local elected officials, com- 
mercial, neighborhood, and environmental groups about the 
transportation needs of ports; the roles that ports play in moving 



Institutional Relationships 141 



international cargo and providing for national defense; and the 
economic benefits that ports give to their cities and regions. 



NOTE 

1 . The Shipping Act of 1984 addressed some of the anticompetitive issues that 
arise from abuses in carrier and port conferences that set joint rates and 
tariffs. Such conferences are still permitted, but more flexibility was given in 
the act. Shippers and carriers can negotiate rates somewhat independent of 
these conferences, and the FMC can overrule anticompetitive arrangements. 
Somewhat contrary to the general policy of fostering competition among 
service providers in the maritime industry, the ports were extended antitrust 
immunity under the Shipping Act of 1984 to discuss and set joint fees. Ports 
on the East Coast have not cooperated in this fashion, but they have re- 
cently proposed to, and the California ports have exercised this option to 
the consternation of some shipping lines and shippers. Considerable contro- 
versy surrounds this provision in the shipping act (Traffic World 1991a, 21 ). 



REFERENCES 

ABBREVIATIONS 

AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation 

Officials 

TAMS TAMS Consultants, Inc. 
TRB Transportation Research Board 

AASHTO. 1987. Survey of State Funding of Landside Port Facilities and 
Cargo Terminals. An Informational Report by the Standing Committee on 
Water Transportation. Washington, B.C., July. 

Aylward, A. 1991. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, U.S. House 
of Representatives. 

Belyea, Sorenson, Trottier & Associates. 1992. 1991 Washington Ports and 
Transportation Systems Study for the Public Ports of Washington State. 
Washington Public Ports Association, Olympia. 

California Transportation Commission. 1990. Improving Access to Califor- 
nia's Ports. February. 

DiBenedetto, W. 1992. Harbor Maintenance Fee Continues to Smolder, jour- 
nal of Commerce, June 25, p. 1C. 

Dowd, T. 1988. The Bottom Line: Port Finances and Operations: Under- 
standing the Bottom Line. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. 
Hershman, ed.), Taylor and Francis, New York, N.Y. 



142 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Ferejohn, J. 1974. Pork Barrel Politics: Rivers and Harbors Legislation, 
1947-1968. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 

Hershman, M., and R. Kory. 1988. Federal Port Policy: Retrenchment in the 
1980s. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), 
Taylor and Francis, New York, N.Y. 

Hershman, M., and R. Bittner. 1988. Ports Over Time: Historical Perspec- 
tives on the Publia*Port. In Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. 
Hershman, ed.), Taylor and Francis, New York, N.Y. 

Hicks, G. 1991. The Alameda Corridor: Meeting the Challenge of Port 
Growth. Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Vol. 31, No. 2, 
pp. 230-239. 

Kagan, R. 1990. Patterns of Port Development: Government, Intermodal 
Transportation and Innovation in the United States, China, and Hong 
Kong. Report No. UCB-ITS-90-13. Institute for Transportation Studies, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Marine Board. 1985. Dredging Coastal Ports: An Assessment of the Issues. 
National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

Olson, D. 1988. Public Port Accountability: A Framework for Evaluation. In 
Urban Ports and Harbor Management (M. Hershman, ed.), Taylor and 
Francis, New York, N.Y. 

Shaw, P. 1984. Transportation Institutional Bottlenecks and Barriers to U.S. 
Exports: The Port Experience. Report DOT-I-86-12. U.S. Department of 
Transportation. 

Shaw, P. 1985. Export Transportation and Intergovernmental Pub- 
lic Policy. Report DOT-I-86-13. U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Shaw, P. 1990. Surface Transportation Policy and Seaports. Final Report to 
the U.S. Department of Transportation and the California Department of 
Transportation. University Transportation Center, University of California, 
Berkeley. 

TAMS. 1985. Ports and Transportation Systems Study for the Ports of Wash- 
ington State. 

Traffic World. 1991a. West Coast Ports Hike Ship Fees Following Lead of 
Los Angeles. July 22, pp. 21-22. 

Traffic World. 1991b. Touted Alameda Corridor Imperiled as Governments 
Pull Out Fiscal Rug. November 4, pp. 12-13. 

TRB. 1992. Special Report 234: Data for Decisions: Requirements for Na- 
tional Transportation Policy Making. National Research Council, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 



8 



Intermodal Terminal 
Efficiency 



Modern intermodal marine terminals are the points of trans- 
fer of cargoes from sea to land and land to sea, but the 
transfer is less than optimal. The transfer of cargo between 
ports and inland transport is "one of the weakest, least efficient, and 
most costly links in the intermodal transportation chain" (Hayuth 
1987,36). 

It is not difficult to see why. A large container ship, using two or three 
gantry cranes, can offload five hundred or more 40-foot containers in 
half a day. Several ships can be in port simultaneously. Storage space 
on or near the docks is extremely expensive. Container trains and 
trucks are costly to operate; they don't want to wait. Customers de- 
mand on-time deliveries. Yet each container has to be cleared through 
customs and directed to the right outbound truck, which in turn must 
plunge, in direct competition with scores of other trucks onto the 
crowded roadways that link the urban waterfront to railheads and the 
on-ramps of inter-city highways. 

Meanwhile, trucks are streaming into the port with new cargo for the 
off-loading ship. At the terminal gates, each inbound and outbound 
trucks's driver must present or pick up documents transferring custody. 
The identity, destination, and condition of each container and chassis 
must be checked. Inbound trucks must be directed to the appropriate 

143 



144 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



space in the container yard to pick up or drop off a container. Like a 
highway accident during rush hour, the slightest problem, misunder- 
standing, or impropriety in the paperwork clogs the terminal gate. 
Gate delays increase during lunch hours or when ship arrivals bunch 
up. Frequently, lines of trucks pile up at the inbound or outbound 
terminal gates, polluting the air, fraying tempers, and adding to trans- 
portation costs. (Kagan 1990, 131) 

The recent gains in intermodal productivity probably exacerbated 
the landside access problem because marine terminals can off-load 
and deliver far more cargo than access routes can accept. One of the 
major future challenges will be to control the flow of containers so 
that bottlenecks can be avoided. 

Eugene Pentimonti, vice-president of American President Lines, 
noted at a 1991 Transportation Research Board Strategic Planning 
Workshop for Marine Transportation that the remarkable produc- 
tivity gains in intermodal transportation over the past 30 years have 
resulted from technology improvements on the "hard side" that is, 
from containerization; larger container ships; larger, more sophisti- 
cated cranes; and double-stack trains. Pentimonti predicted that fur- 
ther productivity gains will depend on innovations on the "soft side," 
by which he meant greater reliance on information technologies to 
improve the flow of containers through terminals and improved 
labor-management relations. Changes in both areas will be needed to 
manage the landside access problem. 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 

Some of the landside bottleneck problem may be reduced by more 
efficient internal operations at port terminals. Information, commu- 
nication, and integrated data systems are fundamental to such im- 
provements and will be needed for the marine terminals to continue 
to improve their productivity (Marine Board 1986). 

Current Practices 

New information technologies are already being applied to port ter- 
minal operations in many ways. Bar-coded containers are being used 
for inventory and for reading and entering shipping documents elec- 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 145 



tronically. Using hand-held optical scanners transmits information 
about container identification and location with far greater accuracy 
and efficiency than does repeatedly entering the information manu- 
ally. These systems have some problems operating in the often wet 
and cold terminal environment, but they are being refined. Micro- 
wave scanners and radio-frequency microcircuit systems have been 
developed to overcome some of the limitations of these technologies, 
and some products are being widely marketed. The advantages of 
radio-frequency systems have led to their being widely adopted at 
ports around the world (Friedman 1986a; Friedman 1986b). 

With greater accuracy about container location and identification 
and with computerized information bases, terminal managers can 
develop and apply management information systems to improve the 
flow of containers through the terminal with reduced handling 
(Chadwin et al. 1990). One impediment to the wider use of auto- 
mated information collection and transmittal is the lack of standard- 
ization across modes and countries, but one vendor is capturing such 
a large share of the market for radio frequency transponders that its 
sheer scale of operation may result in greater standardization much 
as IBM set standards in personal computing. 

Management of improved information flows can also be achieved 
through harmonized, interactive electronic data interchange (EDI) 
systems. As shippers, ports, freight forwarders, and transportation 
companies have computerized their record systems, the major imped- 
iment to transmitting more paperwork electronically has been the 
incompatibility of the many systems (American Shipper 1988). Many 
industry committees, however, are working on standardization to 
facilitate communication between computers. 

So much change is occurring in EDI that the current status is diffi- 
cult to characterize. A wide variety of systems are in use; each system 
has differing capabilities and degrees of sophistication. A certain 
amount of standardization in EDI has occurred because of the for- 
mats required for automated customs clearance: as customs docu- 
ments have become standardized and transmitted electronically, the 
extensive paperwork involved has become less of a bottleneck. About 
three-quarters of container ports in the American Association of Port 
Authorities (AAPA) survey report that automated customs systems 
are hi use at their terminals, and about half (44 percent) indicate that 
these systems usually or always reduce access time to or in the port 
(Table 8-1). 



146 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE 8-1 Issues Regarding Terminal Operating Efficiency Raised in 


AAPA Survey 














All Ports 


Container Ports 


All Other 




( = 


54) 


(n = 


25) 


( = 


29) 


Issue 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


Automated customs 














clearance 


24 


44 


19 


76 


5 


17 


Automated customs 














clearance usually 














or always reduces 














delay 


8 


15 


8 


44 


n/a 


n/a 


Labor contract the 














major impediment 














to increased 














operating hours 














Yes 


8 


15 


7 


28 


1 


3 


Yes and no 


8 


15 


5 


20 


3 


10 


Expansion of 














terminal operating 














hours would 














improve efficiency 


13 


24 


13 


52 








Port has on- or off- 














dock transfer 














facilities 


34 


63 


22 


88 


12 


41 


Off-dock more 














efficient than on- 














dock 


12 


22 


6 


24 


6 


21 


Rail lines adjacent to 














or within 1 mi of 














marine terminals 


49 


91 


24 


93 


25 


86 


Rail-highway 














intermodal 














terminal adjacent 














to marine terminal 


6 


11 


5 


20 


1 


3 


within 25 mi 


19 


35 


10 


40 


9 


31 



In applying information technologies to traffic and cargo manage- 
ment, U.S. ports in general lag behind the most sophisticated ports in 
Europe and Asia. These ports are already investing in the software, 
computer links, fiber optic networks, and mobile radio terminals that 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 147 



will allow the terminal managers to better control inventories and 
manage the flow of containers across the terminal (Port Development 
International 1991). Some observers believe the large international 
ports that dominate their national markets have an advantage over 
the decentralized ports in the United States. These major interna- 
tional ports are believed to have the long-term stability and revenues 
to invest in the research and development that is necessary for the 
transfer to computerized operations (Kagan 1990, 181). On the other 
hand, large vertically integrated companies, such as Sea-Land, are 
making similar investments in the terminals they own (Port Develop- 
ment International 1991). 



Future Applications 

Some of the landside bottlenecks in port terminals result from the 
surge of containers: hundreds may be off-loaded from a container 
vessel or double-stack train in just a few hours. At present, terminal 
operators at domestic ports tend to treat the incoming containers 
equally because they do not always know which contain time- 
sensitive cargoes and which do not. With more advance information, 
the handling and placing of the containers could be arranged to mini- 
mize inefficiencies. The most time-sensitive containers could be put 
where they would get priority treatment. Computer simulation 
models are being developed and marketed to assist in this next gener- 
ation of logistics planning (Chadwin et al. 1990, 74). The Japanese 
steamship line Nippon Yusen Kaisha already performs computer sim- 
ulations of its terminals before container arrivals so it can plan for the 
most efficient flow through the terminal. Steamship lines often have 
much of the information that would be needed by the terminal opera- 
tors and surface transportation providers to engage in more advanced 
planning, and as production transportation logistics become more 
sophisticated, even more of this information will be available. 

Terminal throughput will be aided by the continued evolution to- 
ward automated container-identification systems. It will not be many 
more years before each container will have a standardized tag or 
transponder that can be read as the container is being moved. Con- 
tainers entering the terminal on the land side will electronically trans- 
mit all the necessary paperwork for passing through the gate and for 
clearing customs. The containers being off-loaded from the ship will 



148 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



be staged such that the crane operator knows which container to pick 
up next and where it needs to go. 

As terminal use becomes more efficient through the use of informa- 
tion and sophisticated logistics models, some of the peak demand and 
resulting congestion as containers are drayed out onto the highway 
can be alleviated. Indeed, the capacity of the roadway system to 
handle outgoing containers would be one element of the simulation 
models used to inform logistics decisions. 

During the next 20 to 30 years, roads and highways will become 
increasingly "smart"; that is, they will have electronics added to the 
pavement or roadside that will allow traffic managers to continuously 
monitor, and perhaps control, traffic volumes (TRB 1992). Thus, the 
capacity of the highway system to receive the flow of container traffic 
will one day be known in real time, and even this information will 
become part of commercial transportation logistics. 

The benefits of improved flow through the terminal depend on 
belter planning, and better planning depends on better information, 
but ports face practical impediments to information sharing. Steam- 
ship lines, for example, traditionally prefer to operate on a propri- 
etary basis. 

The institution of overarching coordinating groups among the port 
users can facilitate information flows among competing interests. 
This has been done at several ports. One example is the "Virginia Port 
Advisory Committee at Hampton Roads. This committee, which in- 
cludes all maritime-related interests, is convened to ensure that lines 
of communication are open and that all issues of common concern 
are being addressed. Another such effort was the introduction of the 
Freight Service Improvement Conference, which was created by the 
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

Logistics alliances also suggest ways that competitors can agree to 
share information for the mutual benefit of multiple parties (Bower- 
sox 1990). In these alliances, manufacturers, shippers, and trans- 
portation companies (sometimes even traditional competitors) align 
services for mutual benefit. For example, a double-stack operation 
by American President Companies (APC) between Ford plants in 
Michigan and Mexico depends on the coordination of information 
by the manufacturer, four railroads, and Mexican customs. APC 
assembles and coordinates all the information necessary to pick up 
and deliver parts between the two plants and to coordinate these 
movements over four rail lines and on a just-in-time basis. This 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 149 



example indicates that information can be provided in ways to 
protect proprietary interests while still permitting planning for com- 
plex, time-sensitive logistics. 

In the future the production of some goods will be planned such 
that they move out of the factory to a container, out of the port 
of exit, across the ocean, through a domestic port, and to the 
point of distribution. Imagine garments made at a factory in Asia: 
they are affixed with price tags, hung on rolling hangers, and 
placed in a container to arrive at the store in the Midwest several 
days later, where they will be rolled out of the container and onto 
the showroom floor just in time for a big sale. The transportation 
system would no longer respond to production output as it is 
pushed out of the factory door; just-in-time delivery is a "pull" 
system, in which customer demand at the outlet generates require- 
ments for goods to be transported. The transportation logistics 
for production planning such as this have not yet been developed, 
but for the marine terminals to operate with the efficiencies implied 
by these futuristic logistics, several changes will be needed: 
standardized information technologies, techniques for sharing 
proprietary information, and modified work rules at some port 
terminals. 



INCREASED TERMINAL EFFICIENCY 



Operating Hours 

Because of the large scale of container ships and double-stack 
trains, hundreds of containers are off-loaded onto the marine termi- 
nal. All of these containers need to move in a short period of time, 
which creates a surge in demand that often causes congestion at 
terminal gates and on terminal access roads. Such problems are 
exacerbated by terminals at which local work rules result in a fixed 
workday of 8 hr with a 1-hr lunch break. For example, truckers at 
the Port of New York and New Jersey reported to the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation (DOT) site visit team that trucks at the 
terminals are already lined up 100 deep when the longshoremen 
start work at 8:00 a.m. In New Orleans truckers reported that the 
current congestion problems could be reduced if the local unions 



150 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 




A queue of trucks backs up at 
a port entrance awaiting pro- 
cessing. Note that the queue 
is beginning to spill onto the 
intersecting route. 



would lengthen the working day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (The 
effect of neighborhood opposition to operation of trucks and trains 
during early morning and nighttime hours was discussed in Chapter 
4.) In some places the morning opening times create safety hazards 
both in the immediate vicinity and some distance away: when 
truckers park at an Interstate rest stop waiting for the terminal gates 
to open, the line backs up onto the shoulder of the highway. In 
contrast, some port terminal gates are open around the clock when 
required. When draymen can work throughout the night to clear the 
containers, a surge of truck movements is not forced onto already- 
crowded highways during the working day. 

The operation of gates for longer hours increases the productivity 
of port assets and allows truck and train movements to occur dur- 
ing the off-peak travel hours. Almost all container port terminals 
will operate around the clock when a large container ship arrives. 
Because of the expense associated with lengthy dwell times, the ship 
operator is usually willing to pay the extra labor costs. On the land 
side, however, in order to open the gate to allow truckers to pick up 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 151 



or drop containers, which may require only a clerk and one or two 
workers in the terminal, some local union work rules require that 
an entire crew be paid overtime for a full shift. 

For half of the container ports, expanded operating hours would 
reduce the delays encountered on landside routes (Table 8-1). One 
of the major impediments to operating longer hours has been the 
unwillingness of some seaport labor union locals to change work 
rules to reduce the cost of opening the terminal gates during early 
morning or early evening hours. This is reported to be a problem 
for almost half of the container ports. For 28 percent, restrictive 
work rules are believed to be the major constraint on operating 
longer hours. For another 20 percent, the unwillingness of union 
locals to permit the opening of gates without requiring overtime pay 
for an entire crew appears to contribute to the port's inability to 
operate longer hours. 

The resistance of labor unions to extended work hours is under- 
standable. Labor has experienced a radical reduction in the demand 
for workers because of the increased mechanization and productivity 
of intermodal container movements. After nearly a century of effort 
to gain the benefits of work rules, benefits, and wages, longshoremen 
found the number of jobs declining and the competition between 
ports increasing as general freight cargo shifted to containers (Chad- 
win et al. 1990). In 1970, for example, 

30,000 longshoremen at the Port of New York /New Jersey worked 33 
million manhours to move about 25 million "assessment tons." By 
1986 only 7,400 dockworkers were on the rolls and they worked a 
little more than 11 million manhours to move the same amount of 
cargo (Chadwin et al. 1990). 

Although the longshoremen unions have acceded to many of the 
technological changes in the industry, some work rules continue to 
reduce the ability of terminal operators to improve throughput. For 
example, one proposal would simply have a clerk operate the gates 
during off-hours so that truckers could drop containers. But at many 
ports, the union locals insist that opening the gate means an entire 
work crew must be paid overtime, even if the whole crew is not 
needed. 

The master agreements of the longshoremen unions permit locals 
to negotiate some work rules separately with their managements. The 
competition among ports has apparently created flexibility at some 



152 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



locals in renegotiating less restrictive limits on port operating hours. 
Hampton Roads' success in the competition with Baltimore is cred- 
ited by some to the more harmonious labor-management relations at 
Hampton Roads and to the Virginia unions' recognition that changes 
in work rules to win freight would create jobs and opportunities. A 
similar argument can be made about the success of Tacoma in com- 
peting with Seattle. 



Other Operational Changes 

The increased automation in container identification described earlier 
can also be applied to other aspects of terminal operations that would 
reduce bottlenecks at the gate. With fewer delays imposed on truck 
operations, fewer trucks would be required to make the same number 
of deliveries. 



Equipment Interchange 

A major source of delay at the gate occurs in the preparation of the 
equipment interchange report. Each container and chassis entering or 




Delays in processing containers at terminal gates could be reduced with 
electronic information transfers. 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 1 53 



leaving a berth must be inspected by a longshore clerk. The clerk and 
the driver inspect the equipment and make note of any dents or 
damage. The driver then signs the report. If there are exceptions to 
the report between the time the equipment leaves and the time it is 
returned, the owner of the equipment bills the trucking firm that 
handled the equipment. 

This process could be streamlined. Inspections could take place 
away from the gate. The trucking companies could post bonds for 
damages. Drivers working for these companies could be given elec- 
tronic identification cards. When the loaded truck passes the gate, the 
driver identification and equipment identification could be transmit- 
ted electronically along with the container information already being 
transmitted. 

Changes would be required for this improvement. Work rules 
would have to be negotiated with longshoremen unions. Shipping 
lines and trucking firms would have to negotiate new arrangements 
for handling equipment damage. 

Mobile Gates 

Another approach to reducing queues at the gate would be to have 
multiple, mobile gates. With "wired terminals" and mobile radio- 
frequency transmitters, there is no reason to operate with a few gates 
through which all incoming and outgoing trucks must pass. If gates 
were operated at the berths as dictated by demand, the queues at each 
gate would be smaller, and those that occurred would be on terminal 
routes, not on public access routes. 

Advance Scheduling 

Another cause of terminal congestion is the frequent rush of last- 
minute cargo that causes a peak demand on truck equipment and 
terminal access routes. Freight consolidation yards often have a large 
volume of cargo arriving a day before the ship is scheduled to depart; 
this cargo must be loaded into containers and drayed to the berth for 
loading. If shippers were required to have cargo at the consolidation 
yard another day or two before the ship was to sail, less equipment 
would be needed to move the cargo at the last minute and peak 
demands would be reduced. Shipping lines have been reluctant to 
impose such schedules for fear of losing cargo (most accept cargo up 



1 54 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



until 4 hr before the deadline), but there may be ways to protect the 
lines by having the port or terminal operator set the schedule and 
impose it uniformly. 

M ore Productive Trucks 

The peak demands caused when containers must be drayed to rail- 
heads could be alleviated if trucks could transport more than one 
container at a time. Trucks that could pull two containers would 
reduce the number of power units on the road and thereby reduce 
congestion and air pollution. Only 20-ft containers can be trans- 
ported in twin-chassis configurations under current length limits, and 
these units may be restricted by federal and state weight limits. Twin 
40-ft units, comparable with turnpike doubles, if operated to stan- 
dards comparable to those of turnpike doubles, would be permitted 
only on routes of the highest design standards and therefore would 
not be permitted on roads accessing marine terminals. The Inter- 
modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 specifically pro- 
hibits the use of longer combination vehicles (LCVs) in states that did 
not already allow their use on or before June 1, 1991 [Section 
1022(b)]. Hence, for now wider use of LCVs to move containers is 
fairly restricted. If ever allowed, trucks pulling two containers are 
likely to be limited to dedicated truck corridors and required to oper- 
ate with more stringent safety standards. 



TERMINAL DESIGNS 

Many port authorities, particularly the largest ones, have striven to 
improve port productivity by improving the design of intermodal 
terminals. Because the geographic and marketing advantages of each 
port differ, there is no single type of design that predominates. Ports 
seem to favor terminals designed for stacking containers as opposed 
to chassis-based transport in equal numbers (Marine Board 1986). 
There are also divergent views about whether on-dock rail is to be 
preferred to off-dock rail (Ashar 1990; McKenzie et al. 1989). 

Because of the intense competition for freight among ports, how- 
ever, the ports have been investing in improved terminal designs. 
Most of the container ports in the AAPA survey (88 percent) report 
that they have either on- or off-dock transfer facilities (Table 8-1 J. 1 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 155 



About a quarter of the container port respondents believe off-dock 
designs are more efficient than on-dock. Almost all port respondents 
(91 percent) report that rail lines are either adjacent to or within a 
mile of marine terminals. Only 11 percent, however, have rail- 
highway intermodal terminals next to the marine terminal. Such 
facilities are reported to be within 25 mi of the marine terminals at 46 
percent of the ports. (On-terminal rail access issues were addressed in 
Chapter3.) 

As available land around ports becomes more expensive and less 
available, terminal operators may increasingly opt for designs that 
require stacking rather than having each container on a chassis. A 
general rule of thumb is that stacked operations require about half as 
much land as chassis-based systems, but currently the chassis are 
more mobile and can be moved without having to move other con- 
tainers; therefore they are more responsive to customer demand for 
rapid throughput. Improvements in EDI and logistics planning may 
eventually allow stacked systems to operate with greater speed. In 
addition, because of the environmental restrictions on use of water- 
front land, and the economic cost of such land, stacked designs may 
one day become more cost-effective. 

Continued efforts are needed to keep abreast of innovations and 
best practices worldwide. Ports in the United States are less produc- 
tive than the world's most efficient ports for a complex set of logisti- 
cal, institutional, and legal reasons (Marine Board 1986). Some 
innovations developed in other nations may not be applicable here for 
these same reasons. Nonetheless, continued survey of best practices 
and study of their potential application in U.S. ports are needed. 



OPPORTUNITIES 

There are many ways to improve internal operations of ports to 
reduce the demand on landside transportation. 



Information Technology and Transfer 

It appears that much more efficiency can be gained through improved 
technology and information sharing. User forums can provide a low- 
tech approach to improve logistics. There are also a variety of ways in 



156 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



which steamship companies, drayage firms, and double-stack rail 
operators can share data to enhance terminal efficiency. Everything 
from inventory control of containers to advance planning of terminal 
operations could be improved through more extensive applications of 
technology, computers, and information systems (Chadwin et al. 
1990, 57-77; Marine Board 1986; TRB 1986). 

In its role as the coordinator of intermodal research, the Office of 
Intermodalism should ensure that federal research is conducted on 
topics related to efficient freight flow to and through port complexes. 
For example, research on improving and harmonizing information 
systems and technology could help overcome some of the bottlenecks 
in information transfer at ports, which, in turn, could improve the 
flow of vehicles and freight. To ensure that U.S. ports remain compet- 
itive, a continuous effort is needed to keep abreast of worldwide 
innovations in cargo handling and to make that information available 
to ports and terminal operators. The office should work with ports, 
metropolitan planning organizations, and states in defining a re- 
search agenda that will help them address the issues they face. The 
federal government should serve as a catalyst to bring together the 
various parties involved in the use of technologies such as informa- 
tion systems in order to define joint needs, to promote standardiza- 
tion, and to encourage research on and dissemination of innovations 
in cargo handling and intermodal freight transportation. 

The U.S. government could also place more emphasis on automat- 
ing the paperwork that continues to impede efficient throughput at 
marine terminals. The Customs Service has automated its routine 
paperwork, but other agencies the Food and Drug Administration; 
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and the various in- 
spection services of the Department of Agriculture are just begin- 
ning to do so. Almost all clearances are based on routine document 
reviews only, so increased standardization and automation of docu- 
ments could substantially reduce delays at terminal gates. 



Operational Changes 

At many ports it may be possible to increase the hours of terminal 
operation. Over the long term, the competition among ports for 
cargo, coupled with the ever-increasing mechanization of the long- 
shoreman's task, is likely to continue to put pressure on restrictive 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 157 



work rules. But given the monopoly positions of the longshoremen 
unions and the adversarial, zero-sum-game character of some labor- 
management relations, longshoremen unions are not likely to agree to 
significant changes in operating practices without getting something 
in return (Kagan 1990, 168). 

Many improvements in terminal operating procedures could in- 
crease terminal efficiency and reduce peak-period congestion. Equip- 
ment interchange reports could be streamlined. Driver and equipment 
reporting at terminal gates could be automated. More gates could be 
used and could be designed to move to the berths to reduce the 
number of "choke points" on the terminal. Ship-loading deadlines 
could be moved up to reduce the last-minute movement of cargo from 
freight consolidation stations to berths, and more productive truck 
units could be allowed in specific circumstances. 

Applying information-based technologies can also assist in termi- 
nal efficiency (Table 8-2). Eighty percent of the container ports in the 
AAPA survey indicate that traffic management would reduce access 
problems. Fifty percent indicate that cargo tracking to schedule truck 
arrivals would improve highway access, and 60 percent believe that 
computerized rail control techniques would improve rail access. Al- 
though many respondents think these approaches would help, only 
about one-third of the container ports believe that these management 
techniques would reduce the demand for more costly infrastructure 
improvements. 

Terminal operators and users of port facilities can also take several 
steps to help reduce the bottlenecks at terminal gates and the peak 

TABLE 8-2 Technological Solutions To Improve Highway or Rail Access 
Identified in AAPA Survey 



All Ports 

(n = 54) 


Container Ports 

(n = 25) 


All Other 

(n = 29) 


Solution 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


No. 


Percent 


Improved traffic 














management 


44 


63 


20 


80 


14 


48 


Cargo tracking to 














schedule truck 














arrivals 


18 


33 


13 


52 


5 


17 


Computerized rail 














control techniques 


19 


35 


15 


60 


4 


14 



158 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



demands placed upon marine terminals and their access routes. The 
committee recommends that terminal operators, users, and labor rep- 
resentatives collaborate to find ways to increase the hours of terminal 
operations at an affordable cost, to coordinate schedules to minimize 
traffic conflicts, and to alter ship-loading schedules to minimize last- 
minute peak demands on terminal facilities. Ship lines and drayage 
operators should also streamline equipment interchange procedures, 
automate paperwork, and apply information-based technologies to 
increase the efficiency of terminal use and reduce peak demands on 
the surface transportation system. 

NOTE 

1 The AAPA survey question specifically asks about "on-dock" and "off-dock" 
rail, although in the U.S. context, this usually refers to having rail service 
within the marine terminal or adjacent to it. U.S. terminals do not have rail 
service on the dock that permits terminal cranes to move containers directly 
from the ship to a rail car. 

REFERENCES 
ABBREVIATION 

TRB Transportation Research Board 

Ashar, A. 1990. On-Off Terminal Vessel-to-Rail Intermodal Transfer and the 
Case of Long Beach Port. Maritime Policy and Management, Vol. 17, No. 4, 
pp. 235-247. 

American Shipper. 1988. Too Many Systems. March, p. 38. 

Bowersox, D. 1990. The Strategic Benefits of Logistics Alliances. Harvard Busi- 
ness Review, July-August, pp. 36-45. 

Chadwin, M., J. Pope, and W. Talley. 1990. Ocean Container Transportation: An 
Operational Perspective. Taylor and Francis, New York, N.Y. 

Friedman, N. 1986a. Application of Information Systems to Marine Terminal Oper- 
ations and Productivity, hi Improving Productivity of Marine Terminals, Marine 
Board, National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

Friedman, N. 1986b. Microcircuit Technology in the Maritime Industry. In State of 
the Art Report 4: Facing the Challenge: The Intermodal Terminal of the Future, 
National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 

Hayuth, Y. 1987. Intermodalism: Concept and Practice. Lloyds of London Press, 
London, England. 

Kagan, R. 1990. Patterns of Port Development: Government, Intermodal Transpor- 
tation and Innovation in the United States, China, and Hong Kong. Report UCB- 
ITS-90-13. Institute for Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley. 



Intermodal Terminal Efficiency 159 



Marine Board. 1986. Improving Productivity in U.S. Marine Terminals. National 
Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

McKenzie, E., M. North, and D. Smith. 1989. Intermodal Transportation The 
Whole Story. Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., Omaha, Neb. 

Port Development International. 1991. Port Communication Systems: Real-Time 
Efficiency in Port Communications. June, pp. 52-56. 

TRB. 1986. State of the Art Report 4: Facing the Challenge: The Intermodal Termi- 
nal of the Future. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 

TRB. 1992. Special Report 232: Advanced Vehicle and Highway Technologies. Na- 
tional Research Council, Washington, D.C. 



Appendix A 



Results of Survey on Landside Access by 
American Association of Port 
Authorities 



The following survey, mailed by the American Association of Port Au- 
thorities (AAPA) to 85 member ports in the United States, received 54 
responses. The surveys were mailed to and filled out by officials at 
public port authorities. The actual questions are provided, as are re- 
sponses to the questions providing optional answers. In a few cases the 
survey requested open-ended answers that could be summarized by a 
few responses, and these answers are also provided. Many of the survey 
questions requested that respondents answer "strongly yes," "yes over- 
all," "yes and no," "no overall," "strongly no," "don't know," or "not 
applicable " The interpretation of some these responses is unclear. The 
differences between a "strong no" and a "no overall" or a "strong yes" 
and a "yes overall" are not obvious in the context of the questions. In 
summarizing these data in the tables of the report, the committee has 
combined the responses in a way that avoids ambiguity; thus, the 
"strong yes" and "yes overall" responses are combined and interpreted 
to be affirmative answers and the "strong no" and "no overall" are 
combined and interpreted to be negative answers. The "yes and no" 
responses are not combined with the affirmative or negative answers in 
the tables used in the report, but they are provided below for reference. 
In a few cases the respondents did not provide any answer, even when 
the option of "not applicable" was available; the summary indicates the 
number of such responses with "NR." 

160 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 161 



Although the committee was well aware of problems with the ques- 
tionnaire and the interpretation of the data, it has used the results 
because of the lack of other data or information. It has been conser- 
vative in its interpretation of the results in the body of the report and 
has striven to balance the perspectives of port officials with those of 
others concerned about and influenced by the transportation system. 

Not included are several questions about passenger vehicle access 
to terminals serving passenger ferries. Also not included are questions 
requesting detailed maps or additional written responses. Few re- 
spondents actually provided detailed maps. 



LANDSIDE ACCESS TO PORTS 

For open-ended questions, please provide a short response. 

Two types of scaled responses are used for most of the questions: the 
first is self-explanatory, i.e., "Circle one: Always Usually Sometimes 
Rarely Never NA." "NA" means "not applicable"; "DK" means "don't 
know." 

The meaning of the other scaled response "Circle one: YES yes y/n no 
NO DK NA" is 

"YES" strongly yes "NO" strongly no 

"yes" yes overall "DK" don't know 

"y/n" yes and no "NA" not applicable 
"no" no overall 



Land Use Impediments 

1. (a) Has there been a growth in noncargo activities in the port area in 
the last 10 years? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 16 16 1 10 4 2 5 54 
Percentage 29.6 29.6 1.9 18.5 7.4 1.9 9.3 100 

(b) What is the approximate distribution of port income and land 
commitment in terms of the following land use categories: [Responses 
provided for answer to percentage of income from maritime cargo, be- 
cause few other answers were provided in other categories.] 



1 62 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Percent of Port Income in Maritime Cargo No. Ports 

No response 2 

Less than 50 4 

50-75 10 

76-95 17 

96-100 21 

Total 54 



2. Has the development of noncargo activities in the port area substan- 
tially increased the value of port property? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 

Number 11 12 6 13 70 5 54 

Percentage 20.4 22.2 11.1 24.1 13.0 9.3 100 

3. Has competition for available land increased? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 

Number 17 23 6 4 3 1 54 

Percentage 31.5 42.6 11.1 7.4 5.6 1.9 100 

4. Has lack of available land suitable for development restricted port- 
related access improvements? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 

Number 6 11 8 23 60 54 

Percentage 11.1 20.4 14.8 42.6 11.1 100 

5. Are landfill operations feasible for your port area to create additional 
land for expanding cargo operations or providing port access? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 

Number 11 14 6 9 13 1 54 

Percentage 20.4 25.9 11.1 16.7 24.0 1.9 100 

6. Are rights-of-way available for new port access routes? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 

Number 6 16 10 11 5 3 2 54 

Percentage 11.1 29.6 18.5 22.2 9.3 5.6 3.7 100 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 163 



7. Are freight-only roads from highways to port terminals a viable op- 
tion at your port considering all local group concerns? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 1 6 12 14 20 2 54 

Percentage 1.9 11.1 20.4 25.9 37.0 3.7 100 

8. Are there viable options for consolidated rail /truck corridors to port 
facilities? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 6 7 8 17 10 6 54 

Percentage 11.1 13.0 14.8 31.5 18.5 11.1 100 

9. Are inland cargo consolidation ports a viable and feasible method for 
reducing congestion in port areas? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 3 15 8993 7 54 

Percentage 5.6 27.8 14.8 16.7 16.7 5.6 13.0 100 

Regulatory Impediments 

10. Are there regulations in place or proposed that restrict rail opera- 
tions to specific hours of the day in your community? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 3 3 4 15 27 2 54 

Percentage 5.6 5.6 7.4 27.8 50.0 3.7 100 

1 1 . Are there regulations in place or proposed that restrict truck opera- 
tions to specific hours of the day in your community? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 1 5 3 19 26 54 

Percentage 1.9 9.3 5.6 35.2 48.1 100 

12. (a) Is there coordination in the permitting process for the Clean 
Water Act? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 13 14 9 73 71 54 

Percentage 24.1 25.9 16.7 13.0 5.6 13 1.9 100 

(b) If yes, what organization is performing the coordination? 

(c) Is this process working well? 



1 64 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 





YES 


yes 


y/n 


no 


NO 


DK 


NA 


NR 


Total 


Number 


3 


12 


9 


2 


7 


6 





24 


54 


Percentage 


5.6 


24.1 


16.7 


3.7 


5.6 


13.0 


7.4 


44.4 


100 



13. How do environmental permit procedures impact the provision of 
port access improvements? 

14. Have wetlands regulations impeded the development of access im- 
provements to your port facilities? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never DK NA NR Total 

Number 6 5 16 10 8 3 4 2 54 

Percentage 11.1 9.3 29.6 18.5 14.8 5.6 7.4 3.7 100 

15. (a) Is additional deregulation needed in the transportation industry? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 23 8 15 13 7 4 2 54 

Percentage 3.7 5.6 14.8 27.8 24.1 13.0 7.4 3.7 100 

(b) If yes, what area of deregulation is needed that would assist in 
providing better port access? 

16. Are special operating permits issued to vehicles in your state that are 
rendered overweight by the transport of international containerized 
cargo? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 10 12 7 12 3 5 3 2 54 

Percentage 18.5 22.2 13.0 22.2 5.6 9.3 5.6 3.7 100 

17. (a) Do the states in which competing ports are located issue special 
operating permits for container-carrying vehicles at prices, or at allow- 
able weights, that attract traffic from your port? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 886143 852 54 

Percentage 14.8 14.8 11.1 25.9 5.6 14.8 9.3 3.7 100 

(b) Please describe the provisions of these special permits that make 
these transportation movements through other states more desirable. 

18. Do the local or state law enforcement agencies enforce truck weight 
restrictions and other safety related regulations? 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 1 65 



YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 23 22 5 1 1 2 54 

Percentage 42.6 40.7 9.3 1.9 1.9 3.7 100 

Physical Impediments 

19. (a) Are operating constraints imposed by labor contracts the major 
restriction to operational solutions to congestion problems? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 44 8 19 13 1 3 2 54 

Percentage 7.4 7.4 14.8 35.2 24.1 1.9 5.6 3.7 100 

(b) Would changes in the hours of your port's operation significantly 
reduce congestion problems to the port? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 2 11 9 10 14 62 54 

Percentage 3.7 20.4 16.7 18.5 25.9 11.1 3.7 100 

20. (a) Are tunnel and bridge clearances sufficient to accommodate 
double-stack trains carrying two high-cube (9 ft 6 in. high) containers? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 11 9 4 4 8 5 11 2 54 
Percentage 20.4 16.7 7.4 7.4 14.8 9.3 20.4 3.7 100 

(b) Can clearances allow double-stack trains carrying one high-cube 
container stacked on a conventional 9-ft-high container? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 12 11 2 5 4 5 13 2 54 

Percentage 22.2 20.4 3.7 9.3 7.4 9.3 24.1 3.7 100 

(c) Can clearances allow double-stack trains carrying one high-cube 
container stacked on a conventional 8 ft 6 in. high container? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 12 12 3 2 4 5 13 3 54 

Percentage 22.2 22.2 5.6 3.7 7.4 9.3 24.1 5.6 100 

21. (a) Does the condition of rail tracks used for port cargo within your 
port region restrict the efficiency of rail access? 



1 66 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 3 1 13 20 12 2 1 2 54 

Percentage 5.6 1.9 24.1 37.0 22.2 3.7 1.9 3.7 100 

(b) Does the condition of rail tracks adjacent to your port region 
restrict the efficiency of rail access to your port? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 2 1 11 19 11 2 4 4 54 

Percentage 3.7 1.9 20.4 35.2 20.4 3.7 7.4 7.4 100 

22. Are any rail tracks located within the rights-of-way of public streets? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 18 16 3 75221 54 

Percentage 33.3 29.6 5.6 13.0 9.3 3.7 3.7 1.9 100 

23. (a) Do the rail tracks that serve the port have numerous at-grade 
highway crossings that reduce the efficiency of rail access? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 12 13 8 13 5 2 1 54 

Percentage 22.2 24.1 14.8 24.1 9.3 3.7 1.9 100 

(b) If the answer is yes, are there any plans to relocate the tracks 
within a restricted-access rail corridor or reconstruct at-grade crossings 
and separated crossings? [Only valid "YES" or "yes" to 23(a) recorded.] 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 1 6 1 107 25 

(c) If the answer is yes, when is this construction scheduled to 
occur? 

24. (a) Does a belt-line railroad serve the port? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 9 11 1 10 20 2 1 54 

Percentage 16.7 20.4 1.9 18.5 37.0 3.7 1.9 100 

(b) If the answer is yes, does the port own the belt line? [Only valid 
"YES" or "yes" to 24(a) recorded.] 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 2425700 20 

25. (a) Do street signs clearly direct nonlocal truckers from major arte- 
rials and freeways to marine terminals? 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 167 







Some- 














Always 


Usually 


times 


Rarely 


Never 


NA 


DK 


NR 


Total 


8 


26 


11 


4 


3 


1 





1 


54 


14.8 


48.1 


20.4 


7.4 


5.6 


1.9 





1.9 


100 



Number 
Percentage 

(b) What are truckers' most frequent complaints about street signs? 

26. Are there adequate radii at street intersections to accommodate the 
turning movements of commercial motor vehicles serving the port? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 8 35 8 2 1 54 

Percentage 14.8 64.8 14.8 3.7 00 1.9 100 

27. (a) Are there clearly marked or designated truck routes in and ad- 
joining your port area? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 19 5 41 7 1 16 54 

Percentage 35.2 9.3 7.4 1.9 13.0 1.9 29.6 100 

(b) Are the truck routes to the port capable of handling all truck 
weights that can move legally on the Interstate system? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 22 25 3 1 1 2 54 

Percentage 40.7 46.3 5.6 1.9 1.9 3.7 100 

(c) Are intercity roads designated as truck routes also heavily used 
by passenger traffic with resulting congestion, delays, and safety 
problems? 

Always 

Number 12 
Percentage 22.2 

(d) Have roads that were once used for passenger traffic become 
increasingly used by trucks? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 6 11 21 81 2 3 2 54 

Percentage 11.1 20.4 38.9 14.8 1.9 3.7 5.6 3.7 100 

(e) What attempts have been made to reduce these transportation 
conflicts? 





Some- 














Usually times 


Rarely 


Never NA 


DK 


NR 


Total 


15 


12 


7 





5 


1 


2 


54 


27.8 


22.2 


13.0 





9.3 


1.9 


3.7 


100 



1 68 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



28. (a) Are there any bridges posted for lower weight limits on desig- 
nated truck routes serving your ports? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 2 5 1 26 15 2 2 1 54 

Percentage 3.7 9.3 1.9 48.1 27.8 3.7 3.7 1.9 100 

(b) If the answer is yes, are there any plans for reconstructing or 
replacing the bridge(s)? [Too few responses for meaningful summary.] 

(c) If the answer is yes, when is this bridge construction scheduled to 
occur? 



29. (a) Are there drawbridges in the port area? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 17 11 1 10 13 2 54 

Percentage 31.5 20.4 1.9 18.5 24.1 3.7 100 

(b) If the answer is yes, do they cause congestion into the port? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA NR Total 
Number 6 1 11 6 3 1 27 



30. (a) Are key general cargo and intermodal port and transportation 
facilities located within easy access of each other? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 14 23 81 7 1 54 

Percentage 25.9 42.6 14.8 1.9 13.0 1.9 100 

(b) On average, how many traffic lanes exist on the roadways that 
connect these terminals? 







Four 










Two 


or more 


Other 


NR 


Total 


Number 


15 


25 


2 


12 


54 


Percentage 


27. 8 


46.3 


3.7 


22.2 


100 



31. If your port handles cargo transported by rail, how far are the rail 
lines from the general cargo and container terminals? 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 169 



More than 




Adjacent 


1 mi 


Other 


NR 


Total 


Number 


37 


12 


1 


2 


54 


Percentage 


68.5 


22.2 


1.9 


3.7 


100 



32. If your port is served by intermodal terminals (e.g., rail-highway 
terminals, inland port facilities), how far are these intermodal terminals 
from their main serving port terminals? 

More Less 

than than 

Adjacent 25 mi 25 mi NA Other NR Total 

Number 6 4 19 16 2 6 54 

Percentage 11.1 7.4 35.2 29.6 3.7 11.1 100 

33. (a) Are there on-dock (i.e., on-terminal) or off-dock rail terminals 
at your port? 

Yes No NA NR Total 
Number 34 12 4 4 54 

Percentage 63.0 22.2 7.4 7.4 100 

(c) How far are the off-dock terminals from feeder terminals? 

(d) Are there any plans to construct on-dock or off-dock intermodal 
transfer facilities? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 8 9 3 17 8 1 2 6 54 

Percentage 14.8 16.7 5.6 31.5 14.8 1.9 3.7 11.1 100 

(e) If the answer is yes, please describe the nature and type of these 
improvements and their estimated costs. 

34. Would off-dock intermodal transfer facilities expedite cargo flows 
more efficiently than on-dock facilities? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 3 9 9 14 6 4 81 54 

Percentage 5.6 16.7 16.7 25.9 11.1 7.4 14.8 1.9 100 

35. (a) Would traffic-related improvements to highways in the port area 
be subject to even more passenger traffic in the future? 



170 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 13 15 13 8 3 1 1 54 

Percentage 24.1 27.8 24.1 14.8 5.6 1.9 1.9 100 

(b) If the answer is "sometimes," "usually" or "always," what could 
be done to mitigate this situation in the future? 

36. (a) Can the following technological solutions improve highway and 
rail access to your port? 

(1) Improved traffic management 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 11 23 3 12 2 2 1 54 

Percentage 20.4 42.6 5.6 22.2 3.7 3.7 1.9 100 

(2) Cargo tracking to schedule truck arrivals 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 3 15 8 20 3 2 2 1 54 

Percentage 5.6 27.8 14.8 37.0 5.6 3.7 3.7 1.9 100 

(3) Computerized rail control techniques 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 5 14 9 15 3 3 4 1 54 

Percentage 9.3 25.9 16.7 27.8 5.6 5.6 7.4 1.9 100 

{b) If available, what would be the approximate cost of instituting 
such systems? 

(c) To what extent would these cargo management techniques offset 
the need for more costly infrastructure improvements? 

Help No 

Some Help DK NA Other NR Total 

Number 12 2 6 12 1 21 54 

Percentage 22.2 3.7 11.1 22.2 1.9 38.9 100 

37. (a) Are automated customs systems used at your port? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 9 15 5 13 10 1 1 54 

Percentage 16.7 27.8 9.3 24.1 18.5 1.9 1.9 100 

(b) If so, do these systems have an impact on reducing access time to 
ports as well as in ports? [Only valid "YES" or "yes" to 37(a) recorded.] 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 171 



Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 
Number 8 42 0340 20 

38. (a) Is barge use a feasible solution to landside congestion? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 3 10 5 21 9 1 4 1 54 

Percentage 5.6 18.5 9.3 38.9 16.7 1.9 7.4 1.9 100 

(b) If yes, briefly explain. 

39. Please complete the table below answering the following questions: 

(a) How far is the closest Interstate to your port terminal(s)? 

(b) How many lanes are open to traffic on the roadways that con- 
nect the port terminals ) with the Interstate? 

(c) Is parking allowed on these roadways? (Yes or No) 

(d) What type of land use best characterizes the areas through which 
these roadways pass? (Industrial, commercial, residential, mixed use, 
etc.) 

Maximum distance of any port terminal from Interstate (mi) 





Less 






More 








than 1 


1-5 


6-10 


than 10 


NR 


Total 


Number 


13 


26 


8 


6 


1 


54 


Percentage 


24.1 


48.1 


14.8 


11.1 


1.9 


100 



Coordination Impediments 

40. Does your port have a staff person assigned to coordinate port ac- 
cess needs with state and local transportation authorities? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 12 19 8 9 2 1 3 54 
Percentage 22.2 35.2 14.8 16.7 3.7 1.9 5.6 100 

41. (a) What are the formal, ongoing mechanisms for meetings with 
local modal representatives? (port associations, transportation round- 
tables, planning forums, etc.) 



1 72 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



(b) How frequently do these meetings take place? (days, weeks, 
etc.) 

Mechanisms Meeting Frequency 



42. (a) Has required coordination with federal, state, and local agencies 
impeded improvement projects for landside access to ports? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 5 9 20 4 3 11 2 54 

Percentage 9.3 16.7 37.0 7.4 5.6 20.4 5.6 100 

(b) If "sometimes," "usually," or "always," please describe. 

43. (a) Do metropolitan planning organizations or regional agencies 
serve a coordinating function for your ports? 

Summary of written responses 

Yes, but not 

YES No effective DK NR Total 

Number 26 17 6 3 12 54 

Percentage 48.1 31.5 11.1 5.6 22.2 100 

(b) If neither, what mechanisms exist for local governmental 
coordination with ports in developing projects that may affect access to 
ports? 

44. Does the state transportation department coordinate activities such 
as road construction with ports; i.e., is there any intermodal coordina- 
tion at the state level? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 5 17 13 9 2 2 5 1 54 

Percentage 9.3 31.5 24.1 16.7 3.7 3.7 9.3 1.9 100 

45. (a) Is there a transportation trust fund, i.e., an ongoing dedicated 
fund, or a dedicated gas tax for transportation improvements in your 
state? 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 1 73 



YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 24 22 3 1 1 1 2 54 
Percentage 44.4 40.7 5.6 1.9 1.9 1.9 3.7 100 

(b) If yes, does it provide funding for 

(1) Rail projects? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 1 4 9 11 12 1 9 46 

Percentage 2.2 8.7 19.6 21.7 26.1 2.2 19.6 100 

(2) Port development projects? 

Sotne- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 4 7 6 10 17 1 1 46 

Percentage 8.7 15.2 13.0 21.7 37.0 2.2 2.2 100 

(3) Port access projects? 

Some- 

Always Usually times Rarely Never NA DK NR Total 

Number 2 9 19 7 6 1 1 1 46 

Percentage 4.4 19.6 41.3 15.2 13.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 100 

(c) If no, what state funds are available for rail and port 
improvements? 

46. How is funding for landside access improvements obtained? 

47. (a) Are there strategic plans at the state or local level that incorpo- 
rate intermodal transportation considerations? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 817 666911 54 
Percentage 14.8 31.5 11.1 11.1 11.1 16.7 1.9 1.9 100 

(b) What are the titles of these strategic plans and by what state or 
local agency were these plans developed? 

(c) Have these plans been implemented and to what extent (estimate 
by percent of total implementation). 

48. With government funding prospects limited in the future, to what 
extent will private /public and local /state /federal partnerships provide 
funding for future port access funding questions? 



1 74 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 









Some- 
















Always 


Usually 


times 


Rarely 


Never 


NA 


DK 


NR 


Total 


Number 


4 


8 


12 


7 








21 


2 


54 


Percentage 


7.4 


14.8 


22.2 


13.0 








38.9 


3.7 


100 



Defense-Related Access 

49. Does hazardous material and military traffic have to use passages 
through congested urban areas? 









Some- 














Number 


Always 
11 


Usually 
11 


times 
14 


Rarely 
9 


Never 
2 


NA 
3 


DK 
3 


NR 
1 


Total 
54 


Percentage 


20.4 


20.4 


25.9 


16.7 


3.7 


5.6 


5.6 


1.9 


100 



50. (a) Has your port handled cargo in support of Operation Desert 
Shield? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 12 2 12 22 3 1 2 54 

Percentage 22.2 3.7 22.2 40.7 5.6 1.9 3.7 100 

(b) If yes, has the movement of military cargo put a strain on nor- 
mal commercial operations at the terminals that handled the cargo for 
Desert Shield? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NR Total 
Number 1215401 14 

(c) Has the movement of military cargo in certain terminals caused 
access problems to normal operations at other terminals? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA Total 
Number 2 3 1 11 14 3 9 42 

Percentage 4.8 7.1 2.4 26.2 33.1 7.1 19.0 100 

51. (a) Does your port handle hazardous materials including military 
explosives? 

YES yes y/n no NO DK NA NR Total 
Number 5 16 6 8 15 1 54 

Percentage 9.3 29.6 11.1 14.8 27.8 1.9 100 



Appendix A: AAPA Survey Results 175 



(b) Are hazardous material exemptions a problem? 





NO 


Some 


DK 


Other 


NR 


Total 


Number 


27 


4 


6 


8 


9 


54 


Percentage 


50.0 


7.4 


1.9 


14.8 


16.7 


100 



52. Would military cargoes encounter any access impediments to your 
port? 

NO Some DK Other NR Total 
Number 40 8 1 5 54 

Percentage 74.1 14.8 1.9 9.3 100 



Appendix B 



Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 



PREFACE 

The material in this appendix comes from a survey of terminal opera- 
tors on the nation's rivers and inland waterways. The survey question- 
naires were mailed to members of Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals, 
Inc., and the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. Only 24 per- 
cent of the questionnaires were returned, however, which raised the 
concern that those terminal operators with access problems were more 
likely to respond than those without problems. For example, two ter- 
minal operators from the St. Louis area completed surveys indicating 
extensive access problems that were not apparent to the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation study team that visited several other terminals 
in the St. Louis area. The study committee concluded that the survey 
results were not representative and therefore decided not to include the 
results in the report. The appendix examines a subsample of the re- 
turned questionnaires; the subsample includes terminals in urbanized 
areas, which, presumably, would have access problems similar to those 
of ports in coastal cities. The committee agreed that it would be useful 
to include this material because so little information is available about 
the access problems of terminals on the inland waterways and rivers. 
The committee believes , however, that the results should be interpreted 
as a collection of case studies and not as a valid sample about which 
inferences can be drawn about the access problems experienced by the 
population of inland waterways and river terminals as a whole. 

176 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 177 

Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 

THOMAS M. CORSI 

University of Maryland 



The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Maritime Administra- 
tion, in an effort to address the landside access issues at bulk cargo ports 
and terminals, initiated a two-stage data collection effort. As in Phase I, 
the DOT interagency team conducted a series of on-site port visits to 
discuss the access problems with terminal operators, primarily those 
handling bulk commodities. 

The study team also elicited the support of Inland Rivers Ports and 
Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) and the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association 
{PNWA) in distributing a survey to their inland terminal operator mem- 
bership. IRPT distributed 235 questionnaires, and PNWA sent 58. The 
response rate to the survey overall was 24 percent, a rate judged insuffi- 
cient to draw statistically reliable conclusions about all inland terminal 
operators. Nevertheless, the information in the surveys was considered 
valuable; it can be treated in much the way that case study information is 
handled that is, instructive and informative about the landside access 
problems of inland terminal operators, but not necessarily representative 
of the population. 

The analysis of this survey was based on certain defined assumptions. 
Primarily, the responses of terminal operators in urban areas, defined as 
incorporated areas with at least 50,000 total population, were consid- 
ered. In addition, each river system was to be represented by at least one 
respondent. Finally, in order to address any differences in answers be- 
cause of cargo handling differences, the major commodity categories 
(coal, grain, and fertilizers) were represented. 

On the basis of these three assumptions, the 68 respondents were 
screened to find those terminals fitting the foregoing criteria. Attention 
was ultimately focused on 17 respondents. The 17 terminals were dis- 
tributed as follows: Upper Mississippi River system (6), Ohio River sys- 
tem (1), Tennessee River system (1 ), Arkansas River system (1 ), Missouri 
River system (2), Kanawhe River system (1), Warrior /Tombigbee River 
system (1), Mobile River system (1), Alabama River system (1), and 
Columbia River system (2). 

The following sections of this analysis are devoted to a discussion of 
the landside access problems of these inland terminals. Some com- 



1 78 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



ments are presented about the responses of all 17 operators; others are 
directed toward the responses of individual terminal operators. The main 
topics covered parallel those discussed in the Transportation Research 
Board report on general cargo coastal ports. As stated, the issues dis- 
cussed include physical access, land use, regulatory, and institutional 
impediments. 

This report provides no discussion of the results of the IRPT/PNWA 
survey from .the nonurban inland terminal operators in order to focus on 
results most comparable to the situation of the coastal ports. A subse- 
quent report will demonstrate that the nonurban inland terminal opera- 
tors also experience landside access problems in each of the four major 
categories of impediment. 1 The following sections of this appendix dis- 
cuss how the 17 urban inland terminals are affected by each of the 
landside access impediment categories. Before that discussion a brief 
summary of the questionnaire evaluation methodology will be presented. 

EVALUATION METHODOLOGY 

Survey responses were distributed along a 6-point Leikert scale: 1 = 
adequate, 3 = moderately inadequate, and 6 = very inadequate. For 
terminal operators to qualify as having an access impediment in any one 
of the four major landside access impediment categories, they had to 
indicate on the questionnaire that a particular issue had, for example, a 
more-than-moderate impact on terminal efficiency and access: specifi- 
cally, they had to answer the individual question with a 4, 5, or 6. The 
specific definition of each landside access impediment category and the 
underlying questions used to define it will be explained in the following. 

PHYSICAL ACCESS ISSUES 

Several infrastructure impediments are associated with roadway and rail- 
way access to ports and terminals. These site-specific barriers increase 
the costs and time of moving goods to and from ports and terminals. For 
roadways, they involve insufficient capacities, design inadequacies, and 
signing and marking deficiencies. For railways, they entail poorly main- 
tained track and conflicts caused by at-grade crossings. This section will 
cover both the roadway and the railway access issues in turn for the 17 
urban inland terminal operators. Initially, case-study evidence of issues 
will be presented. This will be followed by a summary of the overall 
response. 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 179 

Roadway Access Issues 

As stated, the roadway access impediments adversely affecting port oper- 
ations can be grouped into the following categories: capacity inade- 
quacies, design inadequacies, and signing and marking inadequacies. 

For example, the roadways serving ports or terminals can have capac- 
ity inadequacies stemming from the inability to meet traffic demands, or 
the inadequacies may be due to traffic impediments as a consequence of 
drawbridges. The roadway access to ports may also be impeded by de- 
sign deficiencies, a prominent one being roadway intersection design that 
is inadequate to accommodate the turning movements of trucks serving 
the port or terminal area. A third category of roadway access impedi- 
ments concerns signing or marking inadequacies. 

The IRPT/PNWA survey among inland terminal operators uncovered 
those with roadway access problems in each of the major categories 
outlined above. The following summarizes the roadway access problems 
experienced by five of the urban inland terminal operators. 

Case 1: Little Rock, Arkansas 

A terminal operator in Little Rock, Arkansas, reported that the current 
highway access available to trucks serving the terminal is very inade- 
quate. The operator identified the inability of the radii at street intersec- 
tions to accommodate turning movements of trucks as the main source of 
the problem. 

Case 2: St. Louis, Missouri 

An operator in St. Louis, Missouri, complained that trucks traveling to 
and from the terminal experience a high level of traffic congestion. The 
operator attributes much of the problem to the poor maintenance (and 
consequent potholes) on the current highway access roads. This operator 
noted that the turning radii on street intersections were inadequate to 
handle truck movements serving the port terminal area. This operator 
also reported that there were no dearly marked or designated truck 
routes in and adjoining the port terminal area. 

Case 3: St. Louis, Missouri 

A second terminal surveyed in St. Louis noted that it handled liquid 
chemicals and oils. Its operator characterized the highway access avail- 



1 80 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



able to trucks serving the terminal as inadequate. This was attributed, in 
large measure, to a moderate level of traffic congestion coupled with a 
moderately inadequate ability to handle the turning movements of trucks 
at street intersections. Contributing to the roadway access problem is the 
lack of clearly marked or designated truck routes in and adjoining the 
port terminal area, the same factor noted by the other St. Louis 
respondent. 

Case 4: Mobile, Alabama 

The terminal operator in Mobile, Alabama, has the largest cargo volume 
among the 17 urban terminals discussed in this appendix. This operator 
handles 8.4 million tons of coal, 1.9 million tons of forest products, 1.3 
million tons of iron ore, and 1.0 million tons of steel. The current high- 
way access available to trucks serving the terminal is inadequate because 
of slightly greater than moderate traffic congestion experienced by trucks 
traveling to and from the terminal as well as more than moderately 
inadequate street intersections for accommodating truck turning move- 
ments. This operator also notes that the roadway capacity is hindered by 
drawbridges in the terminal area that impede efficient service. Finally, 
this operator indicates that there are not clearly marked or designated 
truck routes in the port terminal area. 

Case 5: Portland, Oregon 

This operator of a bulk grain terminal in Portland, Oregon, states that 
the current highway access available to trucks serving the terminal area is 
somewhat more than moderately inadequate. This deficiency results 
from a more-than-moderate amount of traffic congestion experienced by 
trucks traveling to and from his terminal. It is important to note that 
trucks must travel 6.5 mi from the terminal to reach either an Interstate 
highway or a four-lane truck route. In the American Association of Port 
Authorities (AAPA) survey, most ports were less than 2 mi from an 
Interstate. 



Summary 

These five case studies from the inland operators indicate the range of 
roadway access impediments noted by the operators. Table B-l summa- 
rizes the roadway access impediments of the 17 urban inland terminal 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 181 

TABLE B-l Urban Inland Terminal Operator Survey: Physical Access 
Issues Roadway Impediments 

Roadway Impediments 

Capacity Limits 



Draw- Design Sign 
Terminal General Congestion bridge Problems Inadequacies 



1 


X 




X 


2 


X 


X 




3 








4 








5 








6 


X 






7 




X 




8 








9 








10 


X 


X 


X 


11 




X 


X 


12 


X 






13 








14 








15 


X X 


X X 


X 


16 


X X 






17 




X 





NOTE: X-indicators follow. General capacity limits: more than moderately 
inadequate highway access available to trucks serving terminal. Congestion: 
more than moderate level of traffic congestion experienced by trucks serving 
terminal. Drawbridge: drawbridges on rail or truck routes serving terminal 
impede service. Design problems: more than moderately inadequate radii at 
street intersections. Sign inadequacies: no clearly marked or designated truck 
routes in and adjoining terminal area. 



operators. It details the specific items on the questionnaire used to 
categorize a particular terminal operator as having a roadway access 
impediment due to capacity limits, design problems, or signing 
inadequacies. 

As shown, 10 of the 17 terminals had one or more roadway ac- 
cess impediments. Seven of the terminals had an impediment re- 
sulting from highway capacity limitations, six had impediments as a 
consequence of design problems, and four reported sign 
inadequacies. 



1 82 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Railway Access Issues 

Although railroads may be viewed as an alternative to highways in order 
to improve landside access to ports, several factors may harm the effi- 
ciency of the rail mode. In the IRPT/PNWA survey, operators were asked 
whether the condition of rail tracks in their terminal areas affected the 
efficiency of rail access. In addition, the operators were asked about the 
existence of rail lines intersecting local roads with at-grade crossings as 
well as their impact on the efficiency of rail access. Three case studies will 
be presented to illustrate this issue. 

Case 1: St. Louis, Missouri 

An inland terminal operator in St. Louis indicated that the condition of 
rail tracks directly serving the port terminal area significantly restricts the 
efficiency of rail access. In addition, this operator noted that the rail 
tracks serving the terminal have one or more at-grade highway crossings 
of truck routes. Furthermore, these crossings, according to the terminal 
operator, have a significantly negative impact on rail access efficiency. 

Case 2: Little Rock, Arkansas 

The inland terminal operator surveyed in Little Rock complained that 
the condition of rail tracks directly serving the terminal resulted in a 
more-than-moderate restriction on the efficiency of rail access. This op- 
erator, however, did not think that the at-grade crossings between rail 
lines and truck routes negatively affected the efficiency of rail access to 
the terminal. 

Case 3: Kansas City, Missouri 

The operator of a fertilizer, petroleum coke, and feed ingredient terminal 
in Kansas City, Missouri, stated that the at-grade crossings between 
truck routes and rail lines had a significant negative impact on the effi- 
ciency of rail access to the terminal. The negative consequences of the at- 
grade crossings overshadowed his belief that the condition of rail tracks 
moderately restricted rail access to his terminal. 

Summary 

These three case studies indicate the range of railway access deficiencies 
reported. Table B-2 summarizes the railway access impediments of the 17 



Appendix B : Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 183 

TABLE B-2 Urban Inland Terminal Operator Survey: Physical Access 
Issues Railway Impediments 



Terminal 


Rail Impediments 




Track At-Grade 
Condition Crossings 


Adverse 
Impact 


1 






2 


X X 




3 


X 




4 






5 






6 


X 




7 






8 






9 


X 




10 


X X 


X 


11 


X 


X 


12 






13 






14 






15 


X 




16 


X 




17 


X 





NOTE: X-indicators follow. Track condition: condition of rail tracks more than 
moderately restricts rail access efficiency. At-grade crossings: rail tracks serving 
terminal have one or more at-grade crossings with truck routes. Adverse impact: 
more than moderately negative impact of at-grade crossings on rail access 
efficiency. 



operators. It describes the specific items on the questionnaire used to 
denote a particular operator as having a railway access impediment due 
to general track condition, the existence of at-grade crossings with truck 
routes, and the assertion of negative effects of at-grade crossings on 
efficiency. 

As shown in Table B-2, 9 of the 17 operators had at-grade crossings 
between rail lines and truck routes in their terminal areas. Two also 
reported that general rail track conditions had more than a moderate 
restriction on the efficiency of rail access in the terminal. In addition, two 
terminals responded that their at-grade crossings between rail lines and 
truck routes caused a more-than-moderately negative impact on rail ac- 
cess efficiency. 



1 84 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



LAND USE ISSUES 

The inland terminal operators were asked the following series of ques- 
tions about the land use impediments in their terminal areas: (a) How 
would you characterize the growth of noncargo activities during the past 
10 years? (b) How would you describe the competition for available land 
around the terminals during the past 10 years? and (c) How would you 
assess changes in property values in the port area during the past 10 
years? Several inland terminal operators indicated that during the past 10 
years there had been a significant growth in noncargo activities coupled 
with a corresponding increase in competition for available land and in- 
crease in the price of that property. Following are examples of these 
issues. 

Case 1: Davenport, Iowa 

A bulk terminal operator in Davenport, Iowa, indicated that during the 
past 10 years there had been a significant growth in noncargo activities 
around the terminal area. As a consequence, the operator noted an in- 
crease in competition for available land and an increase in property 
value. 

Case 2: Charleston, West Virginia 

A bulk terminal operator in Charleston, West Virginia, has witnessed 
during the past 10 years a significant increase in competition for avail- 
able land as well as a significant increase in property value around the 
terminal area. This operator, however, only noted a less-than-moderate 
growth in noncargo activities around the terminal area. 

Case 3: Vancouver, Washington 

The terminal operator in Vancouver, Washington, found that during the 
past 10 years slightly more than a moderate growth in noncargo activities 
was accompanied by a moderate increase in competition for available 
land. However, this operator did not believe that the increase in property 
values in the port area was substantial. 

Summary 

These case studies show the extent of land use impediments noted in the 
surveys. Table B-3 summarizes the land use impediments of the 17 urban 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 1 85 

TABLE B-3 Urban Inland Terminal Operator Survey: Land Use Issues 



Land Use Issues 


Terminal 


Noncargo 
Growth 


Competition 
for Land 


Change in 
Land Value 


1 








2 








3 








4 


X 


X 


X 


5 








6 




X 


X 


7 








8 


X 




X 


9 




X 


X 


10 






X 


11 








12 


X 


X 


X 


13 








14 


X 


X 




15 


X 


X 




16 




X 


X 


17 


X 


X 


X 



NOTE: X-indicators follow. Noncargo growth: more than moderate growth of 
noncargo activities at terminal in past 10 years. Competition for land: more than 
moderate competition for land around terminal in past 10 years. Change in land 
value: land values more than moderately increased in past 10 years. 

inland terminal operators. It describes the questionnaire items used to 
group a terminal operator as having a land use impediment due to 
growth in noncargo activities, competition for land in the terminal area, 
and an increase in land value. As shown, 10 of the 17 ports said that they 
had more than a moderate impact from one of these three factors. 



Land Use Solution Opportunities 

The survey of inland terminal operators explored some possibilities that 
would reduce congestion and land use problems at terminals. The op- 
tions presented included the use of barges, pipelines, and conveyors. 
Obviously, all three options would reduce traffic flows on current road- 
ways and railways and thereby alleviate congestion or remove expansion 
projects from the planning stages. However, both pipelines and con- 



186 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



veyors would require right-of-way access, although they could possibly 
share right-of-way with existing infrastructure and require less need for 
additional land. 

The following paragraphs summarize some of the inland terminal op- 
erators who noted that some or all of the alternatives presented were very 
effective in reducing their congestion and land use problems. 

Case 1: Charleston, West Virginia 

The terminal operator in Charleston, who noted a particularly signifi- 
cant land use impediment problem, believes that barges and conveyors 
offered very effective solutions to the terminal congestion and land use 
problems confronting the terminal. 

Case 2: St. Louis, Missouri 

Two terminal operators in St. Louis identified some of the proposed land 
use opportunities as being very effective in reducing problems. One oper- 
ator, who currently uses barges in his terminal operations, believes that 
conveyor use would be very effective in reducing congestion. A second 
terminal operator also thinks that barges would reduce congestion and 
land use problems in the terminal area. 

Summary 

The inland terminal operator survey shows that the land use problems 
presented can be mitigated by the consideration of alternative access 
systems that do not depend on street or railway rights-of-way. As such, 
these choices may reduce the demand for land for access problems or 
reduce congestion on available rights-of-way. All three options received 
support as very effective methods of reducing land use problems in termi- 
nal areas. 



REGULATORY ISSUES 

The IRPT/PNWA survey of inland bulk terminal operators explored two 
types of regulatory impediment that could harm landside access improve- 
ment projects. The survey asked ports whether their communities had 
restrictions in place or proposed that would limit truck or rail opera- 
tions. These restrictions could stem from either noise or air-quality 
considerations. 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 187 

A second regulatory impediment question concerned the extent to 
which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' regulations affected terminal 
operators' plans to improve transportation movements and capacity at 
the terminal. 

There was evidence among the inland terminal operators that regula- 
tory restrictions did impede the efficiency or implementation of access 
improvements. 

One terminal operator in St. Louis noted that the terminal faced in- 
place community regulations that restricted truck service to the terminal 
to specific hours of the day. 

However, the inland terminal operators expressed greater concern 
about the negative impact of Corps of Engineers' regulations on improve- 
ment projects. An inland terminal operator in St. Louis and one in Kan- 
sas City expressed the opinion that the Corps of Engineers' regulations 
significantly impeded plans designed to improve transportation move- 
ments and terminal capacity. Three other inland terminal operators think 
that these regulations are a somewhat-more-than-moderate impediment. 

Summary 

Table B-4 summarizes the information on the magnitude of regulatory 
impediments among the inland terminal operators. As noted, 6 of the 17 
operators had at least one regulatory impediment to terminal efficiency. 

INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES 

The inland terminal operators were queried about institutional issues. 
Specifically, they were asked to characterize whether they had experi- 
enced any problems with required intergovernmental coordination re- 
garding transportation improvement projects in their terminals. They 
were also asked the extent to which state DOTs or local metropolitan 
planning organizations (MPOs) had attempted to contact them about 
road construction projects that might affect their terminals. A third ques- 
tion investigated whether the terminal operator took the initiative and 
contacted the planners about their transportation needs. 

The questionnaire. also investigated the effects of a nongovernment 
institution (i.e., labor) on terminal operations. The issue of whether 
labor contracts effectively limited hours of terminal operation was in- 
cluded in the questionnaire. Terminal operators were also asked whether 
extending terminal operating hours would reduce terminal congestion 
currently experienced by trucks. 



188 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



TABLE B-4 Urban Inland Terminal Operator 
Survey: Regulatory Issues 

Regulatory Issues 



Truck 
Terminal Operations 


Corps 
Regulations 


1 




2 




3 




4 


X 


5 




6 




7 




8 




9 




10 


X 


11 


X 


12 




13 




14 X 




15 


X 


16 


X 


17 





NOTE: X-indicators follow. Truck operations: commu- 
nity regulations restrict truck service to specific hours of 
day. Corps regulations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
regulations more than moderately impede transporta- 
tion improvement plans. 

The following paragraphs reveal that inland terminal operators do 
experience institutional impediments when contemplating actions to en- 
hance efficiency and improve access. 

Case 1: Kansas City, Missouri 

A bulk terminal operator in Kansas City indicated that the terminal had 
extensive problems as a result of required intergovernmental approval 
for a recently undertaken transportation improvement project in the ter- 
minal area. In addition, this operator did experience limitations in the 
hours of terminal operation as a result of existing labor contracts. How- 
ever, when asked whether extending operating hours beyond the 8:00 



Appendix B: Survey of Inland Terminal Operators 189 

TABLE B-5 Urban Inland Terminal Operator Survey: Institutional Issues 



Terminal 


Institutional Issues 






Labor Required 
Contracts Coordination 


DOT/MPO 
Contact 


Port 
Contact 


1 




X 


X 


2 




X 


X 


3 




X 


X 


4 




X 


X 


5 








6 








7 


X 


X 


X 


8 


X 






9 




X 


X 


10 


X 


X 




11 


X X 






12 




X 


X 


13 




X 


X 


14 








15 




X 




16 




X 


X 


17 









NOTE: X-indicators follow. Labor contracts: labor contracts effectively limit 
hours of terminal operations. Required coordination: more than moderate prob- 
lem with intergovernmental coordination for terminal improvement projects. 
DOT/MPO contact: terminals have less than some contact with DOTs and 
MPOs about road construction problems that might affect terminals. Port con- 
tact: terminals have less than some contact with planners about transportation 
needs of terminal. 



a.m.-to-6:00 p.m. window would reduce truck congestion, the operator 
responded negatively. 



Case 2: St. Louis, Missouri 

A terminal operator in St. Louis also experienced significant problems 
with required intergovernmental coordination and approval for a re- 
cently undertaken project. In addition, the operator said that he had no 
contact with state and local DOTs regarding road construction projects 
that might affect his terminal. This lack of contact was despite extensive 



1 90 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



efforts to contact these agencies about the transportation needs of the 
terminal. 

It is also interesting to note that this terminal operator believed that 
keeping the terminal operating beyond the normal business day would 
significantly reduce congestion. The operator did say, however, that 
existing labor union contracts were not responsible for limiting operating 
hours. 



Summary 

In all, 11 of the 17 inland terminal operators stated that state and local 
agencies had not contacted them about road construction projects that 
might affect their terminals. Nine of these terminal operators, however, 
did not take the initiative and attempt to contact these agencies about 
their transportation needs (Table B-5). 



Private and Public Funding for Port Access Projects 

The questionnaire included an item asking the inland terminal operators 
to characterize the prospects for private-public partnerships for funding 
future port access projects. Several operators characterized such pros- 
pects as good, but eight operators believed that such opportunities were 
nonexistent. 



NOTE 

1. The complete survey results from all 68 inland terminal operators will be 
summarized in a report from the Office of Port and Intermodal Development, 
U.S. Maritime Administration. This report will compare results from the 
urban and nonurban inland terminal operators in all four landside access 
impediment categories. 



Appendix C 



GLOSSARY 



Backhaul A carrier's return movement, opposite from the direction 
in which it earns higher revenue. 

Bill of lading Receipt of goods shipped signed by the person (or 
agent) who contracts to carry them that states the terms on 
which the goods are carried. 

Break-bulk cargo General cargo conventionally stevedored and 
stowed as opposed to bulk, unitized, or containerized cargo. 

Bulk commodities Usually a homogeneous raw material shipped in 
ship-load lots, for example, grain, chemicals, petroleum prod- 
ucts. Usually differentiated by dry and liquid. 

Chassis Special trailer or undercarriage on which containers are 
moved over the road. 

Dray age Charge assessed or service for local hauling of cargo. 

General cargo A variety of consumer goods, mostly manufactured 
or processed, and usually shipped on liner cargo or air freight 
services. 

Intermodal Carriage by more than a single mode. In some segments 
of the freight transportation industry, "intermodal" is defined as 
the transfer of containers from ship to rail. In this report its 

191 



192 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



definition includes transfers between all freight modes involved 
in general cargo transportation (ship, rail, and truck), taken as a 
system for moving freight from origin to destination by its most 
efficient means. In the ISTEA the meaning includes passenger 
trips involving more than one mode. 

Land bridge The provision of a cargo movement overland between 
two separate voyages by sea (a sea-land-sea movement). May 
also refer to a Jand-sea-land movement. 

Liner service That type of service offered by regular line operators 
of vessels. The itineraries and sailing schedules are predeter- 
mined and fixed, and most of the cargo is containerized general 
cargo. 

Neo-bulk Refers to processed or manufactured goods that move by 
ship-load lots, such as automobiles or lumber. 

Tanker Ship for moving dry or liquid bulk commodities. In U.S. 
Census Bureau international commerce data, it refers only to 
liquid bulk. 

TEU Twenty-foot equivalent unit. A means of expressing con- 
tainers of various sizes, such as 20, 40, or 48 ft, in equivalent 
units. 

Ton Expressed in maritime trade as long, short, or metric. A long 
ton equals 1016 kg, or 2,240 Ib. A short ton equals 2,000 Ib. A 
metric ton equals 1000 kg, or 2,205 Ib. 

Tramp Irregular service afforded by vessels, other than tankers, that 
are chartered or otherwise hired for the carriage of goods on 
special voyages. Service is not predetermined or fixed. Most of 
the cargo is dry bulk, but it also includes general cargo moved in 
ship-load lots. 



SOURCES 

Atkins, W. 1983. Modern Marine Terminal Operations and Management. The 
Port of Oakland, Calif. 

Branch, A. 1976. Dictionary of Shipping/International Trade Terms and Abbre- 
viations. Witherby and Co., London, England. 



Study Committee Biographical Information 

Michael S. Bronzini, Chairman, is Director of the Center for Transporta- 
tion Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee. He received 
his doctoral and master's degrees in civil engineering from Pennsylvania 
State University and his bachelor's degree from Stanford. From 1986 
until 1990 he was Professor and Head of the Pennsylvania State Univer- 
sity Department of Civil Engineering. Before joining the Penn State fac- 
ulty, he was Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee 
and director of the Transportation Center. An expert in transportation 
systems and waterway transportation, Dr. Bronzini has published widely 
on transportation network analysis, water transportation, coal transpor- 
tation, and transportation economics. His 1984 paper on inland water 
transportation management, co-written by committee member Craig 
Philip, won an award for best paper on waterway transportation from 
the Transportation Research Forum. He served as chairman of the Trans- 
portation Research Board's Committee on Inland Water Transportation 
from 1984 to 1991 and has served on other TRB committees; he is an 
active member and past president of the Transportation Research Forum. 

Anne D. Aylward is Maritime Director, Massachusetts Port Authority 
(MASSPORT). She received her A.B. from Radcliffe College and her 
M.A. in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
After working for a year as a research associate with MIT, she joined 
MASSPORT as a planner. She moved into maritime operations after a 
year. She became Maritime Director in 1983. Ms. Aylward is Chairman 
of the Board of the American Association of Port Authorities and of the 
North Atlantic Ports Conference, on the Board of Governors of the 
Boston Shipping Association, and Vice-Chairman of the Boston Harbor 
Association. 

Charles J. Chodzko is Vice-President of California Cartage Company, the 
largest intermodal truck carrier on the West Coast. Mr. Chodzko has a 
B.S. in trade and transportation from the University of Southern Califor- 
nia. After graduation he worked for the California Public Utilities Com- 
mission as a rate expert for 18 months, where he was licensed as an 
Interstate Commerce Commission practitioner. In 1952 he joined Cali- 
fornia Cartage Company working in sales, traffic, and truck safety. He 
was promoted to Vice-President in 1965. Mr. Chodzko serves on the 
Harbor Committee of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and is an 
active member of the Propeller Club at the ports of Los Angeles and Long 
Beach. 

193 



1 94 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



Richard V. Collins is President of Draco Marine, Ltd., the worldwide 
shipper of Perrier mineral waters. Mr. Collins graduated from the Mer- 
chant Marine Academy at Kings Point and received an M.B.A. in finance 
and marketing from Northwestern University. He spent seven years at 
sea with Lykes Lines. In 1973 he joined Delta Lines as Vice-President/ 
Assistant to the President. In 1979 he joined the Perrier Group as Direc- 
tor of International Transportation for the United States. Mr. Collins was 
subsequently appointed President of Draco Marine, Ltd. He currently 
serves as Chairman of the International Transportation Committee of the 
National Industrial Transportation League and is a former Chairman of 
the Shippers for Competitive Ocean Transportation and the International 
Marine Council steering committee. 

William J. DeWitt is Vice-President, Automotive Marketing, Burlington 
Northern Railroad. He received his B.A. from Allegheny College and his 
M.B.A. in transportation from the University of Tennessee. He has held 
many positions with BN. He began his career as a carman and brakeman 
for the South Shore Line /helper in 1966. Since then he has risen through 
several positions, including Assistant Division Superintendent and Direc- 
tor of Strategic Planning. He has been involved in strategic planning and 
intermodal issues for BN since 1982. Before assuming his current posi- 
tion, he was Vice-President, Domestic Marketing and Sales, for BN's 
intermodal unit. Mr. DeWitt is active in several professional organiza- 
tions, including the American Association of Executives Multi-Level Ex- 
ecutive Committee. 

Jameson W. Doig is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at the Wood- 
row Wilson School, Princeton University. He received his A.B. from 
Dartmouth University and his M.P.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Princeton. 
He was a staff member at the Brookings Institution for 2 years before 
joining the faculty at Princeton in 1961. In addition to holding a variety 
of administrative posts with the Woodrow Wilson School, Dr. Doig has 
published widely on political science and urban public policy. He has 
written several books including Metropolitan Transportation Politics and 
the New York Region, The Politics of Urban Regional Development, and 
Urban Politics and Policy Making. 

Frank R. Harder is President of Intermodal Management, Inc. Mr. 
Harder received his B.S. in physics and his M.B.A. in transportation 
from the University of Minnesota. After working with Conrail for a 
short time, Mr. Harder joined PTL Transportation in 1980, one of the 
largest trucking firms serving cargo ports on the East Coast, and held 



Study Committee Biographical Information 195 

positions in engineering, operations, planning, and sales and marketing. 
From 1990 to 1992 he served as Vice-President, Marketing, of PTL. In 
1992 he founded Intermodal Management, a consulting company spe- 
cializing in the international intermodal industry. He has been active in 
the Association of American Railroads' intermodal productivity task 
force and on the Transportation Research Board's Intermodal Freight 
Terminal Design Committee. 

Jack D. Helton is Vice-President, Government Marketing, for the Sea- 
Land Services, Inc. He received his B.S. in political science from Texas 
Tech University. Mr. Helton entered the transportation industry by first 
working for Yellow Freight System from 1959 to 1971 and Time D.C. 
from 1971 to 1973. In 1974 he joined Lynden Transport, Inc., and in 
1977 moved to Sea-Land. He has held a variety of positions in the 
company, including Port Manager, Seattle; Vice-President and General 
Manager, Alaska Division; Vice-President, General Manager of North 
American Land Operations; and Vice-President of Sales, Atlantic 
Division. 

Marc J. Hershman is Professor and Associate Director, School of Marine 
Affairs, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, University of Washing- 
ton. He received his A.B. and J.D. from Temple University and pursued 
L.L.M. study at the University of Miami School of Law. He was on the 
faculty of Louisiana State University from 1970 to 1976, first as a Re- 
search Associate and ultimately as an Associate Professor. He joined the 
University of Washington faculty in 1976 as an Associate Professor and 
Adjunct Professor of Law. He achieved his current position in 1987. Dr. 
Hershman has been active in coastal zone management and planning 
issues both while at LSU and at Washington. He is founder and editor in 
chief of the journal Coastal Management. He has authored or co- 
authored several books and articles on coastal zone management, urban 
ports and harbor management, environmental planning, and other 
maritime issues. 

Roger L. Hulette is retired from his position as President of ORBA 
Corporation, which specializes in the design, construction, and opera- 
tion of dry bulk terminal facilities. He received his B.S.C.E. and 
M.S.C.E. from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Hulette has more than 
40 years of experience in handling and transporting dry bulk materials. 
Mr. Hulette worked on major coal terminal projects on the East Coast 
and Great Lakes, where he was also involved in major terminal design 
projects for iron ore. He has worked on bauxite facilities in Texas and 



196 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



iron ore projects in Australia. In many studies performed for port author- 
ities, he also examined issues regarding permitting, hazards to the envi- 
ronment (air quality, surface and groundwater contamination, and 
disturbance of wetlands), and hazards to people. 

Geraldine Knatz is Director of Planning for the Port of Long Beach and 
Project Manager for the Port of Long Beach 2020 Plan and Consolidated 
Corridor Projects. She received her B.A. in zoology from Rutgers Uni- 
versity and her M.S. in environmental engineering and Ph.D. in biolog- 
ical sciences from the University of Southern California. In her current 
post Dr. Knatz is responsible for the Port's Master Planning, Transporta- 
tion Planning, Environmental Planning, and Market Research sections. 
She is also Instructor, Environmental Engineering at the University of 
Southern California, and Adjunct Professor of Public Administration, 
California State University, Long Beach. She has authored or co- 
authored several reports and articles on environmental issues. 

James W. McClellan is Director of Corporate Development for Norfolk 
Southern Corporation. He received his B.S. in transportation engineering 
from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and served as 
an officer of the U.S. Navy. Mr. McClellan began his career in the 
railroad industry in 1962 when he joined the marketing department of 
Southern Railway System. He subsequently worked as an Assistant Man- 
ager in Marketing for Penn Central. He later worked for the Federal 
Railroad Administration, Amtrak, and in 1974 he became the Assistant 
Vice-President, Strategic Planning, of the U.S. Railway Association. 
From there he moved to the Association of American Railroads as a 
policy analyst in 1976 and subsequently joined the Corporate Develop- 
ment Department of Norfolk Southern in 1977. 

Craig E. Philip is Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer 
of Ingram Barge Company of Nashville, Tennessee. He received his 
B.S.C.E. from Princeton and his M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering and 
management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1987 
to 1991 Dr. Philip was Vice-President, Intermodal Division, of the 
Southern Pacific Transportation Company. Formerly he had been Vice- 
President, Marketing, with Ingram Barge Company. Before joining In- 
gram, he worked at Conrail, the Regional Science Research Institute, and 
the Association of American Railroads and taught courses at MIT, Van- 
derbilt, and Princeton. He has published several articles on waterway 
and railroad productivity. Dr. Philip is active in several professional and 
transportation associations. 



Study Committee Biographical Information 1 97 

Clyde E. Pyers is Director, Office of Transportation Planning, Maryland 
Department of Transportation. He received his B.S. in civil engineering 
from Ohio University in Athens. He pursued graduate studies in city and 
regional planning at the University of California at Berkeley. He worked 
as a planner for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads from 1959 to 1965, 
then worked as a technical director for the Cleveland-Seven County 
regional planning group. He served as a planning consultant with Wayne 
State University from 1969 to 1971, at which time he joined the Mary- 
land Department of Transportation. He has been Director, Office of 
Transportation Planning since 1971. Both at M-DOT and in his involve- 
ment with the American Association of State Highway and Transporta- 
tion Officials, Mr. Pyers has been involved in planning transportation 
systems at the state and national level. He has served on the Group 1 
Council of the Transportation Research Board, has been involved in 
several AASHTO committees, and is active in the American Society of 
Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association. 

William M. Rohe is Professor of City and Regional Planning, Depart- 
ment of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill. Dr. Rohe received a double B.A. in psychology and soci- 
ology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his 
M.S. in man-environment relations, his M.R.P in regional planning, and 
his Ph.D. in man-environment relations from Pennsylvania State Univer- 
sity. Dr. Rohe joined the faculty of the Department of City and Regional 
Planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1978. He 
has published many articles on the role of urban neighborhoods in urban 
planning and the effects of land use, housing, and transportation policies 
on local communities. He is co-author of Planning with Neighborhoods, 
University of North Carolina Press (1985). Dr. Rohe is active in the 
American Planning Association. 

Peter L. Shaw is Professor of Public Policy and Administration and Head 
of the Transportation Policy and Planning Program, California State 
University Long Beach (CSULB). Dr. Shaw received his B.A. from Occi- 
dental College, his M.P.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in 
urban planning and public administration from New York University. 
Dr. Shaw has held management and planning positions with the City of 
New York, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Southern Cali- 
fornia Association of Governments (SCAG). AT CSULB he has studied 
urban transportation, the role of transportation in port productivity, and 
local transportation policy. He has written articles in transportation jour- 
nals and DOT and University of California publications. He is active in 



198 LANDSIDE ACCESS TO U.S. PORTS 



the Transportation Research Board, the Los Angeles-Long Beach Pro- 
peller Club, American Society for Public Administration, Western Gov- 
ernmental Research Association, and the Advisory Committees of the 
Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and SCAG. 

Wayne K. Talley is former Chairman of the Department of Economics, 
Old Dominion University. He received his B.A. in economics from the 
University of Richmond and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of 
Kentucky. He joined the faculty at Old Dominion in 1972 as an Assistant 
Professor and is currently an Eminent Scholar. Dr. Talley has written 
many articles on urban transportation, transport costing, maritime 
transportation, transport pricing, air, highway and intercity bus trans- 
portation, public finance, and economic statistics. Among his contri- 
butions to several books, he is a co-author of Ocean Container 
Transportation: An Operational Perspective (1990). Dr. Talley is active 
in the Transportation Research Board and the Transportation Research 
Forum; he is a referee for six journals. 

James P. Toohey is Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Transit, 
Research, and Intermodal Planning of the Washington State Department 
of Transportation. Mr. Toohey graduated from the University of Massa- 
chusetts. Before joining the Washington DOT, he spent several years as a 
consultant for a major accounting firm. Before becoming Assistant Secre- 
tary in 1984, he was responsible for the department's management and 
financial planning, productivity efforts and liaison with legislative, con- 
stituent, and private sector groups. He is a member of TRB's technical 
committee on Statewide Multimodal Transportation Planning and is also 
active in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials, the American Public Transit Association, the Washington State 
Transit Association, and the Women's Transportation Seminar. 

M. John Vickerman, Jr., is co-founder and President of Vickerman- 
Zachary-Miller, an engineering and architectural design firm that special- 
izes in planning and designing port intermodal facilities. Mr. Vickerman 
received his B.S. in architectural engineering from California Polytechnic 
State University and his M.S. in structural engineering from the Univer- 
sity of California at Berkeley. Mr. Vickerman has provided engineering 
design services to most of the major ports throughout the United States. 
He has written many papers on marine terminal design and intermodal 
transportation. Mr. Vickerman is also a member of the Transportation 
Research Board Committee for the Conference on Intermodal Planning 
Issues and is Chairman of the Committee on Intermodal Freight Terminal 
Design and Operations. 



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findings. The Board's program is carried out by more than 300 committees, task 
forces, and panels composed of more than 3,700 administrators, engineers, so- 
cial scientists, attorneys, educators, and others concerned with transportation; 
they serve without compensation. The program is supported by state transporta- 
tion and highway departments, the modal administrations of the U.S. Depart- 



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